The baby on beach arrest news story is sparking international controversy as to whether the woman who claimed to have found an abandoned baby on Honolulu’s Sandy Beach should have been arrested. Just one day after the news made international headlines that a newborn eight-pound baby girl had been abandoned on Sandy Beach and was luckily found by a woman who had parked at the beach, police determined that the woman who claimed to have found the baby was in fact the mother, reported Hawaii News Now on April 30, 2013.
“Keala Simeona, 21, of Honolulu, was arrested today for filing a false police report. Police don’t expect to pursue additional offenses. She posted $250 bail and was released.”
On Sunday night, Keala Simeona, a Makiki woman, brought a baby to the Queen’s Medical Center saying that she had found the baby between 11 p.m. and midnight on Sandy Beach. She said that she had heard people screaming but that when the people’s screaming stopped, she heard a baby cry. When she checked out the beach, she found the naked and abandoned eight-pound baby girl in the sand.
“State Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman said Monday that the full-term, 8-pound baby was born immediately before she was found. However, officials couldn’t pinpoint an exact time of birth.”
“Baby Sandy,” as human services officials are informally calling the abandoned baby girl that was found on Sandy Beach, was healthy and drinking formula at the Queen’s Medical Center.
Just one day after “Baby Sandy” had been found unclothed and unharmed on Sandy Beach on the east Oahu shore, police determined that 21-year-old Keala Simeona was not only the woman who had found the baby but that she was also the baby’s mother.
Since 2007, Hawaii, like 47 other states in the United States, has a baby safe haven law which allows mothers to leave their newborn babies within 72 hours after birth at a fire department, police station, a hospital, or with any other emergency services.
However, according to State Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman, no one has ever taken advantage of the baby safe haven law and left a baby.
Now 21-year-old Keala Simeona did not just leave her baby at a hospital and run away but also made sure that the baby would be taken care of. And she was arrested for delivering the baby at the hospital along with her own story of where the baby came from.
While the consequences of her arrest, a $250 bail might not be detrimental to her, it might be detrimental to the well-being of future babies.
If mothers in Hawaii do not dare to take advantage of the baby safe haven law and do not dare to hand over their babies along with a story of how they got the baby, what other choices are there?