Rock-A-Baby Bye-Bye

A state program was supposed to give moms a safe place to drop off unwanted newborns. Then why are so many babies still ending up in the trash?

Clarissa visited the baby in foster care. "I couldn't leave," she says, wiping a tear from her eye. " 'He's mine. I want him to be my family' was all I could think," she says.

But the judge wouldn't let her raise him.

Her older brother, James, adopted the boy and named him Jordan Michael. Clarissa baby-sits him every Monday and Wednesday night. Her mother says she keeps a closer eye on Clarissa. She watches what Clarissa eats, asks every month if she's had her period, and tells her to diet and exercise so she can see the shape of her body.

Deron Neblett
Clarissa was afraid officers would take her older son, Jeremiah.
Wendy Grossman
Clarissa was afraid officers would take her older son, Jeremiah.

Clarissa sits in the dark on her front porch. Her son Jeremiah opens the front door to tell her they're eating chicken inside. He doesn't understand why she won't come inside and eat with him. He runs out and hugs her. Runs back in. Then comes back for another kiss.

Tears slip down her cheek. "I have the same feelings for Jordan as I have for him," she says, gesturing toward the brown-haired boy clinging to her.

"I wish everything had panned out the way it was supposed to," she says. "I wish I had done it the right way."

Her brother says that when Jordan's older, he'll know that Clarissa is his mother. But she's not sure how she's going to tell him, or how she's going to explain it.

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