Above and Beyond: Santa Rosa Police Officer Answers Call, Adopts Newborn From Struggling Mother - NBC Bay Area
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Above and Beyond: Santa Rosa Police Officer Answers Call, Adopts Newborn From Struggling Mother

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    Cop Adopts Newborn From Struggling Mother

    Police Officer Jess Whitten has three daughters of his own. He had no idea one day he would be asked to take on a fourth. Mark Matthews reports.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 3, 2018)

    Officer Jess Whitten has three daughters of his own. He had no idea one day he would be asked to take on a fourth.

    Whitten, an officer with the Santa Rosa Police Department, recently welcomed 7-month-old Harlow to his family. The baby's biological mother is homeless and battling heroin addiction.

    When Whitten met Harlow's biological mother, she explained how she ended up on the streets.

    "I think it was different because there was repetition and because she was honest about her circumstances, and things going on in her life," Whitten said.

    But then Harlow's mother asked him to do something well above and beyond the normal call of duty. She asked Whitten and his wife, Ashley, to take her newborn and raise her as their own.

    Harlow is now the youngest of the family's four daughters and now has three sisters to help her find her way.

    The Whittens said they have stayed in touch with Harlow's birth mother. They bring her pictures and details of her daughter's new life. Their hope is that she will use them as motivation to clean up and get off the streets so she can be part of her child's future.

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