California police officer and wife adopt baby from homeless woman

Officer Jesse Whitten and his wife, Ashley Whitten, adopted their child, Harlow Whitten, on August 30. The couple also have three other daughters, Reese, 7, Kendall, 5 and Stella, 3.

But on Feb. 9, the woman gave birth to a baby girl. Whitten said the woman had tried to get clean on multiple occasions but that baby Harlow was born with heroin in her system.

Because the woman was homeless and there were drugs in the baby’s system, the county had asked the woman if she wanted to arrange for emergency placement in foster care. Instead, she asked the county to “call Officer Whitten,” Whitten recalled.

“She said, ‘I knew you had daughters. I knew you were firm, but you were fair,'” Whitten said of his conversation with the woman at the hospital. “She had this vision of her daughters playing in tutus with her sisters. That’s what she said she wanted.”

On Aug. 30, the Whittens officially adopted the child. They named her Harlow Maisey Whitten. Her middle name was given by her biological mother. The Whittens kept it to honor the woman, they said.

“This is to say, ‘She loved you and we loved you and we both named you,'” Whitten noted.

The Santa Rosa Police Department congratulated the family on their new addition in a Facebook post writing, “Ofc. Whitten, the proud father of three girls already, opened his heart and his home to this baby. And now it’s official!”

Harlow’s new mom, Ashley Whitten, told “GMA” that the child’s biological mom had envisioned “this beautiful life for her daughter and because of her situation, she couldn’t give that to her. But because of her interactions with Jesse [Whitten] through the police department, she knew she could trust him.” goodmorningamerica.com

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