A 4-year-old child named Zoe Brown was found on a stranger’s doorstep where her parents deserted her.  According to abcnews, her parents, Alonzo Brown and Tongela Denise McBride, left her on this doorstep “with a note on her diaper that read “Call DFAC" or Division of Family and Child Services.”

Authorities in South Carolina investigated the case of “little Jane Doe” for four days until they were able to find the child’s identity.  This was made possible through the help of social media websites such as Facebook.  Anderson County Sheriff's Office featured Zoe’s picture on their Facebook page, which was shared more than 2 million times.

Chad McBride, from the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, said "many people called offering to adopt the toddler."

Zoe’s parents are being charged with unlawful neglect of a child.

Where is Zoe Now?

According to ABC News, “the girl is currently in a foster home under the care of the South Carolina Department of Social Services.”  She will stay under the care of the DSS until they can find a safe home for Zoe.

Alternatives to Abandoning Your Child:

No child should be left abandoned at a stranger’s doorstep.  Not only is this sort of behavior cruel, it is also illegal.  There are several legal alternatives to abandoning your unwanted child.  Read below for ways to provide an unwanted child with a home, while avoiding legal penalties.

  1. Safely Surrendered Baby Law

Most states have the Safely Surrendered Baby Law (also known as the Safe Haven Law) for Newborns.  This law allows a parent to safely surrender their unwanted newborn to a hospital emergency department or fire station with no questions asked.  The parents’ identity will remain confidential during this process.

Click to learn more about Safe Haven laws.

  1. Adoption

For more information about Adoption, go to www.childwelfare.gov.  There are a number of links that can aid in deciding if adoption is the best option for you.

What are your thoughts on Safe Haven laws?  In your opinion, what should Zoe’s parents’ punishment be?

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