The Story of Baby O

In March of 2016, a newborn baby was left at a hospital in Nevada. In court documents, the child is called “Baby O,” but we will call her “Octavia.” When she was 3 days old, Octavia went to live with a couple named Heather and Nick Libretti in the small city of Sparks, Nev., just outside of Reno. At the time, Heather did PR for a classic cars festival, while Nick worked as a mechanic. The couple, now in their early 40s, had fostered and adopted two boys—and taken in a third—but Heather had always wanted a girl.

Octavia had been left at the hospital under Nevada’s Safe Haven law, which allows a parent to give up their child at a hospital, a firehouse, or a police station without fear of being arrested or prosecuted. In line with the statute, Octavia’s mother voluntarily relinquished her parental rights. When she was asked by hospital staff to share the father’s name, she refused. And so, when Octavia went home with the Librettis, there was no biological family to claim her. Given the circumstances, the Librettis felt certain they would be able to adopt her.

Then, three weeks after Octavia was born, her father’s name was found, though it’s not entirely clear how. He was contacted, as required by law, and, after a DNA test confirmed his paternity, said he wanted to raise the child. Since Octavia’s father was homeless and struggling with substance use, however, the Washoe County Human Services Agency (HSA)

— source | Rebecca Nagle | Nov 9, 2022

Nullius in verba


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