Safe-haven laws were enacted in Illinois in 2011, allowing for an unharmed newborn up to 30 days old to be handed to staff at a hospital, emergency medical care facility, police station, fire station, college or university police station or Illinois State Police district headquarters, according to the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation website.
No questions need to be answered by the parent surrendering the baby, according to the law, but the parent can accept an information packet that summarizes the law and their rights.
Lynn did not receive any type of medical treatment during or after her pregnancy.
“Of course it was horribly painful, and I’m so lucky I didn’t need a cesarean [section] or something,” Lynn said. “An angel was definitely watching over us that day. A lot of bad things could have happened, and they didn’t.”
The story was in the Northwest Herald, and some of the women at Lynn’s job had their suspicions. Her boss asked Lynn directly if the story in the paper was about her, but Lynn denied it. Lynn knew other women at her work also were talking about it.
Lynn had seen the articles and learned that the baby had been named Amber. Lynn never told anyone what happened that morning. She eventually married and had children. When the internet arrived, she randomly would go online and search for updates on baby Amber, but she never was able to find any new information. Lynn only wanted to know that her daughter was OK.
Thirty years would pass before she would have an answer, at the other end of a phone call.
“I was so happy to hear her voice,” Lynn said. “Throughout my life, I would drive past my old house or I would see moms with their little girls and think about it. I just didn’t know what happened to her, and I always just hoped she was OK. It was really something else.”
Lynn said her first thought was that Graupner was doing well for herself. She was well-spoken and well-educated.