A West Jordan mom recently abandoned her eight-year-old son at a local hospital, according to police. KSL News reports that, on February 21, the small child entered the Jordan Valley Medical Center in Utah, handed attendants of the front desk a note written by his mom, and waited for help. According to the handwritten note, the child’s Utah mom had abandoned him at the medical facility.
The note succinctly explained the Utah mom’s reasoning for dropping her child off at the hospital and driving away.
“This kid is rude and ungovernable! I do not want him in my house at all!”
The mom in question, one Kathy Sherrer, 36-years-old, a resident of West Jordan, Utah, was ultimately charged on March 9. The Utah mom was charged with multiple crimes, including child abandonment, a felony in the State of Utah, and child abuse, a class A misdemeanor. According to Fox13 Now, Utah mom Sherrer admitted to the abandonment.
The note that the child handed over to the authorities at the hospital also reportedly described the child’s “failings” And provided his name to authorities. According to authorities, the abandoned Utah child also had a small bruise on his right arm when he was dropped off at the hospital. Reportedly, the bruise was caused by his mom hitting him with a spoon.
Shortly after the child showed up at the main desk of the Utah hospital, security determined that it was him mom who had driven him to the hospital and abandoned him with nothing more than a note. The abandoned Utah child is one of five siblings that share the same mom, according to reports.
Immediately following being abandoned, the eight-year-old child was taken into custody by the Utah Division of Child and Family Services. West Valley officer Sgt. Joe Monson was unaware on Wednesday whether or not the child’s mom had “changed her mind” and gotten her son back from authorities or if the Utah child was still in protective custody.
The State of Utah does have several crisis centers located within Salt Lake County, reports Utah District Attorney Sim Gill. There, parents can drop off their child if they find themselves facing overwhelming stress. However, according to the DA, a mom can’t simply choose a random location in Utah, dump their child there unsupervised, and drive away.
“You don’t get to arbitrarily drop children off at certain institutions. You reach out to that organization, that organization helps process your child, there’s an understanding. Everybody understands what everyone’s role is. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. But you don’t simply say, ‘I’ve had enough and I’m going to drop off this child and no one knows who I am.”
Salt Lake County District Attorney Gill went on to clarify that he could only speak “in general” about Utah children being abandoned; legalities prevent the DA from commenting on the Utah mom’s case directly. He also said that a mom can’t simply abandon her parental responsibilities at will, no matter how “rude” her eight-year-old child might be.
“The concern is when we have children being treated that way, what damage does it do to that child, both in terms of the physical abuse and emotional abuse?”
While the Utah mom is facing multiple criminal charges, she has yet to make an “initial” appearance in court. The Utah mom who abandoned her eight-year-old son is scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Thursday for an initial appearance. The duration of the case against Sherrer could take months or more, and it’s plausible that she could enter a plea deal or that charges against the Utah mom could be reduced in the interim.
It is worth noting that Utah is home to what is known as a “safe haven law.” Under the Utah Safe Haven Law, Utah mothers can drop off any newborn at any Utah hospital without consequences or questions. The law was passed back in 2001 after a rash of newborn abandonment cases in Utah and around the nation. If the Utah mother had chosen to leave her child at a hospital immediately following his birth, she would have faced no consequences.
What do you think? Could this Utah mother have simply been at her wit’s end? Could she have been confused about the Utah Safe Haven Law? Is the Utah mom who abandoned her eight-year-old facing the appropriate consequences for her actions?
[Image Courtesy Of Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]