STATEHOUSE (Jan. 27, 2021) – The House Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs voted unanimously today in support of State Rep. Ryan Lauer's (R-Columbus) legislation that would expand Indiana's Safe Haven Law.
Lauer said the bill would allow emergency medical service providers to take custody of a surrendered newborn less than 30 days old, if the parent calls 911. This would provide an additional option to a parent who is facing a crisis and is unable to give up custody of their child under standard procedures without fear of prosecution.
"Indiana continues to be a leader in protecting our most vulnerable," Lauer said. "Giving parents in crisis the ability to call 911 gives them a safe, last-resort option and could help protect the lives of innocent babies."
Once called, emergency medical service providers could pick up and take custody of the newborn, and provide the parent information on remaining anonymous. The Indiana Department of Child Services would then assume custody of the surrendered newborn.
According to Lauer, Indiana's Safe Haven Law allows parents to surrender an infant less than 30 days old to any emergency room, fire station, police station or Safe Haven Baby Box. Parents can surrender custody of their child without facing prosecution and are also allowed to remain anonymous. Lauer's legislation would also allow parents who call 911 to surrender an infant to remain anonymous.
State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) represents House District 59,
which includes portions of Bartholomew County.
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