Lauer's bill expanding Safe Haven Law heads to Senate

Posted by: Abrahm Hurt  | Wednesday, February 3, 2021

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 3, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted unanimously Tuesday in support of State Rep. Ryan Lauer's (R-Columbus) legislation that would expand Indiana's Safe Haven Law to allow distressed mothers or parents to call 911 to surrender custody of their infant child.

Lauer said the bill would allow a parent to call 911 to anonymously surrender a newborn baby less than 30 days old to emergency medical service providers. The Indiana Department of Child Services would then assume custody of the child.

"This bill would help Indiana remain a leader in protecting infants, and it's important we continue our efforts to prioritize the safety of our most vulnerable through this legislation," Lauer said. "This is one of the hardest things a parent could ever have to do, but this is a safe option to anonymously surrender a newborn."

The bill would also allow a parent to surrender their child to medical staff after delivering the child in a hospital.

According to Lauer, Indiana's Safe Haven Law allows parents or caregivers 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 can remain anonymous. 

House Bill 1230 received support from the National Safe Haven Alliance, the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association, the Indiana Public Defender Council, the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter's Association and the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana.

Lauer's bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more and follow legislation.

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State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) represents House District 59,
which includes portions of Bartholomew County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.