DAVENPORT, Iowa — The start of his life made headlines.
A baby, who on day one, was at the center of an unthinkable and dangerous situation, has grown into a happy and healthy three-year-old boy.
Back in May of 2016 a 22-year-old Davenport woman was arrested and charged with child endangerment, accused of trying to discard her baby after giving birth. A criminal complaint shows that Ashley Hautzenrader gave birth to her baby in a toilet at the University of Iowa Hospital. She unsuccessfully tried to flush him down before leaving him in a trash can.
The baby was later found and rescued by hospital employees.
Fast forward three years and Matthew Addison is just like any other child. His dad Brandon Addison tells News 8 that Matthew is “more than happy and healthy.” He describes him as an adventurous kid with lots of energy. He loves playing with his older sister Ahnna, being outdoors, playing on his tablet, and watching shows like “Peppa Pig” and “Blippi.”
In fact, Matthew’s birthday on May 8 was celebrated with a “Peppa Pig” themed party. Brandon says Matthew’s favorite birthday gift was a scooter.
Today, Brandon says he’s an advocate for the Newborn Safe Haven Act, which is a law that allows parents to leave an infant at a designated facility without legal ramifications. Safe haven laws are in place in all 50 United States; the facilities and age of the infant varies, but the purpose remains the same.
In Iowa and Illinois, an infant can be up to 30 days old and be accepted at a safe haven facility.
Click here to learn more about which types of facilities are considered “safe havens” from state to state.
Hautzenrader ultimately was sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to have no contact with the victim, according to court records.