‘Guardian Angel’ police officer adopts opioid-addicted newborn from homeless woman

A police officer is being called a “guardian angel” after responding to reports of a robbery ended up with him agreeing to adopt a homeless pregnant woman’s baby.

Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets was investigating a convenience store robbery when he walked behind the building and found a woman getting ready to inject heroin.

Holets turned on his bodycam and confronted the 35-year-old Crystal Champ and her companion before realizing the woman was pregnant.

“You’re going to kill your baby,” Holets is heard on the bodycam chastising Champ, who revealed she was “seven or eight months pregnant.”

Holets, who appears to be writing a citation for the couple in the beginning of the video, begins talking to Champ about her situation.

“It’s not every day I see a sight like that,” Holets said in an interview with CNN. “It just made me really sad.”


It was in that life-changing moment that Holets decided to intervene.

“I just felt God telling me, ‘Tell her that you will do it because you can,’” Holets said to CNN.

That “it” was the father of four telling Champ he would like to adopt her baby.

Champ, who lives in a tent among the brush beside a highway in New Mexico, has battled addition to heroin and crystal meth for most of her life.

“I know how bad my situation is,” she told CNN. “I know what a horrible person I am.”

Champ had also “desperately wanted someone to adopt her baby,” Holets said and he wanted to be the one.

“I got so tired of seeing so many situations that I want to help, but can’t. But in that moment I realized I had a chance to help,” Holets continued.

After the conversation with Champ, Holets got in his squad car and drove immediately to his wife – with whom he had not yet discussed the magnanimous decision he made.

The police officer went right up to his wife and told her the whole story.

“He already knew my heart on the issue, and he knew that I would be totally onboard with it,” Holets’ wife, Rebecca, told CNN.

The couple had discussed adopting before, Yahoo reports, but wanted to wait until their youngest, who is 10 months old, was a little older.

The couple had no time to spare, though. Three weeks later, Champ gave birth to a baby girl, Hope. However, because of Champ’s drug use, Hope was born addicted to opioids, called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The syndrome can cause a lot of problems for growing infants like increased irritability, autonomic overreactivity and gastrointestinal tract dysfunction, as well as developmental disorders later in life.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a child with NAS is born every 25 minutes in the U.S.


The Holetses have said when the time is right, they will tell Hope about the circumstances of her adoption, Yahoo reported.

“I just want her to be safe and secure and be in a family and be loved and have a chance,” Champ said.

After giving birth, with the Holetses at the hospital, she gave the couple Hope and said goodbye. “She turns to me and says, ‘Take care of her for me.’ And I said, ‘I will take good care of her, and you take good care of yourself.’ It was super emotional,” said Rebecca.

“I am so thankful and blessed and humbled that we are allowed to be Hope in our family,” Holets said.

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