Woman arrested after claiming to find a baby
Honolulu police make an arrest after a baby was reportedly left at Sandy Beach.
Officers arrested the woman who said she found the newborn, Keala Simeona. Police believe she actually gave birth to the baby. She has been charged with filing a false police report.
Residents along Simeona's Street in Papakolea described her as friendly but quiet. Some were surprised over this incident and arrest, because the 21-year-old was already a mother to a young boy. Those who saw her regularly could not even tell she was pregnant this time.
Within her community and around the Oahu this incident has not only generated surprise, but also sympathy for the young woman.
"It must have been the loneliest, scariest moment of her life, because no woman does that casually -- no matter the circumstances. So she was not aware that there were options, that there were resources for her," said Kristine Altwies, with Hawaii International Child.
Hawaii has a safe haven law that allows parents to turn newborns over to a hospital, fire or police station without facing any repercussions.
"Without questions, without having to go through the additional challenge of dealing with a former boyfriend or abusive husband -- as long as it's within 72 hours after birth," said Altwies.
Another option is putting the baby up for adoption.
There is a growing need for adoptions in the islands.
"Infertility is on the rise and the number of people wanting to adopt a child has been increasing over the years," said Altwies.
"With any pregnancy there is waiting and anticipating," said Jonathan Eoute.
After years of struggling to start a family, Jonathan and his wife Kristen realized adoption was the answer for them. Like all soon-to-be parents they are nervous about this life-changing decision and they feel for any mother who would give up their child.
"As much as we are anxious about adopting, it must be much more for the birth parent," said Eoute.
Some psychologists have expressed concern over the mental health of a mother who suddenly gives up her baby.
Simeona's family did not talk about the incident, but her brother said, "As far as I know, she is doing OK," when asked how she was doing.
The baby, last reported in good condition at the hospital, will stay there until Family Court decides if the newborn will be returned to the family. A hearing is schedule for Monday.
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