California police officer adopts baby from homeless woman who he met on patrol

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A California police officer who responded to a call of a pregnant woman needing help ending up adopting the baby.

Santa Rosa police officer Jesse Whitten befriended a homeless woman on patrol and after the woman gave birth, she wanted the officer to adopt her newborn girl, according to KTVU.

“Someone from the county called and said ‘Hi, do you know a woman named so and so?'” Ashley Whitten told KTVU.

“She had mentioned it briefly, but I didn’t know if she meant it or how serious she was about that,” recalled Jesse Whitten.

The Whitten’s already had three daughters: Reese, 7, Kendall, 5, and Stella, 3.

“We wondered, ‘are you asking us to keep her forever?'” said Jesse Whitten, “and she was saying ‘I want you to have her forever.'”

The baby girl, Harlow, went home with the Whittens at just four days old. Jesse and Ashley were foster parents for six months before a judge made the adoption official on Friday.

According to Jesse Whitten, Harlow’s mother is in her late 30s, homeless and addicted to drugs.

“It’s not every day you see someone who’s homeless and pregnant,” he said.

His wife added that Jesse Whitten had driven the woman to shelter or detox. Ashley Whitten had met the woman one night while on a ride-along with her husband.

“She made a lot of attempts but it’s a really hard thing,” Ashley Whitten told KTVU. “She was obviously pregnant and I mentioned that, and she said ‘oh yeah’ and put my hand on her belly. I got to feel our daughter — who I didn’t know would be our daughter — in the womb.”

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