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Infant surrender site opens at Bowmanville Fire Station

Ontario’s first Hope’s Cradle, a place where parents may safely surrender an infant, is operational at the Bowmanville Fire Station, 2430 Highway 2 in Clarington.

Clarington Emergency and Fire Services partnered with Calgary-based registered charity Gems for Gems to open the Hope’s Cradle. Clarington Council joined Gems for Gems to officially open the site on May 16.

The Process

A parent wishing to use this service can come to the unmonitored Hope’s Cradle Surrender Site at Fire Station #1 in Bowmanville. Inside the door, they will find a bassinet to place the surrendered baby in and an information package for them to take. The package contains a medical form for the baby’s history and an addressed prepaid envelope, explained a statement.

It said the parent will also receive information about the local support available to them, how the process works, and their rights should they change their mind. Once they leave the child and close the door, firefighters will get an alert that a baby has been placed in the cradle and will retrieve the infant.

Paramedics will be called to do a health evaluation of the child and transport it to Bowmanville Hospital. Children’s Aid Society will be contacted and will consult with Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services as needed regarding the future care of the infant.

Bowmanville Fire Station

“This site has the potential to save a life. I truly hope it’s never needed, but better it’s there and never used than the alternative. I’m proud that Clarington Council voted to make use of this space to protect our most vulnerable residents,” said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster.

“Gems for Gems is proud of having our first Ontario Hope’s Cradle across the line. We are so grateful to the team in Ontario for working so hard to ensure this option is now here for those in the area. However, the sobering reality is it is a when, not an if, a baby is found in other areas. We are eager to expand Hope’s Cradle across the province and ask the community to step forward with more locations. We know better, we must collectively now do better,” said Jordan Guildford, Founder/CEO of Gems for Gems.

Left to right: Chief David Speed, Clarington Emergency and Fire Services; Councillor Sami Elhajjeh; Mayor Adrian Foster; Jordan Guildford, Founder/CEO, Gems for Gems; Lynn Jeffs, GEMS Ambassador; Deputy Fire Chief Randy Cowan, Clarington Emergency and Fire Services; and Deputy Fire Chief Brad Lamport, Clarington Emergency and Fire Services.
(Left to right): Chief David Speed, Clarington Emergency and Fire Services; Councillor Sami Elhajjeh; Mayor Adrian Foster; Jordan Guildford, Founder/CEO, Gems for Gems; Lynn Jeffs, GEMS Ambassador; Deputy Fire Chief Randy Cowan; and Deputy Fire Chief Brad Lamport. 

Gems for Gems is the founding organization of Hope’s Cradle. Gems for Gems is a Canadian charity committed to ending the cycle of domestic abuse by focusing on survivors’ economic recovery and empowerment. The organizations’ initiatives, including Hope’s Cradle, the Scholarship Program, and Ambassador Program, are solution-focused and provide transformational impact to survivors of abuse.

For more information, visit www.gemsforgems.com or hopescradle@gemsforgems.ca.

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