Eagle Mountain Family Grateful that Mother Used Safe Haven Law

by Norris Law Group on May 1, 2014

horrocks_familyOn Wednesday, April 23, the Deseret News featured a story about the Horrocks family in Eagle Mountain, UT that is extremely grateful that a mother chose to put her child up for adoption using Utah’s Safe Haven Law that brought them their son Spencer, now age 4.

The Safe Haven Law of May 2001 allows parents to anonymously give up custody of their newborn without any legal consequences. Every hospital in Utah that is open 24 hours has a plaque indicating that it is a “safe haven” in which any newborn baby may be left and receive necessary care until a proper living situation can be found for the baby.

The Horrockses already had three adopted children when the state foster care system called them, asking if they would be interested in adopting Spencer. Brenda Horrocks, Spencer’s adoptive mother, says, “We got a call one day—it was actually the day he was born—[asking if we] were interested in adopting him…We, of course, said yes.”

Spencer’s case is unique in many ways. First, he was born two months early, and spent three weeks in neo-natal intensive care. Although his birth mother wanted to give him up, she was willing to appear in front of a judge and meet the Horrockses. The birth mother was homeless and told the court that placing the child with his relatives would not have given him “a good life.”

“We got to meet [Spencer’s birth mother] and we got to see how much she loved Spencer…She shared with the judge that she wanted him to have a better life than she had. She had been in foster care. She had basically been kind of abandoned by her parents…She wanted him to have a mom and a dad and a happy life, and it was a pretty neat thing to witness that love she had for him…” said Brenda Horrocks, a bit tearfully. Brenda’s husband Brad added, “She was living a life that was not fit for a child. She recognized that, and that’s why she placed him.”

The Horrockses said that they hope Spencer’s story sheds more light on Utah’s Safe Haven Law, particularly in light of recent stories such as the one in which a Pleasant Grove woman allegedly killed six of her own children soon after they were born. Brad Horrocks said, “I’m grateful for the safe haven law…It gives these children a chance at life where otherwise they wouldn’t have a chance.”

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce and family law. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.


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