[r67] Safe Haven: You Have an Option With No Questions Asked (3/26/2009)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Start Date: 3/26/2009 All Day
End Date: 3/26/2009

There have been recent instances of frightened and overwhelmed parents abandoning their newborn babies, only to expect someone to find them. Babies have been left to freeze in cold weather, drowned in bath tubs or put in roadside containers to be picked up like trash.

Most of the time, these babies are not found in time and die because of neglect.

In 2000, Indiana joined 45 other states in enacting a Safe Haven Law for the protection of infants. The law allows a parent to give up an infant under the age of 45 days to an emergency medical services provider, including hospitals, fire departments or law enforcement agencies with no questions asked.

If the law is followed, confidentiality is assured, and there is no prosecution for abandonment or neglect, assuming there is no evidence of it. The baby is placed with the Family and Social Services Administration who finds adoptive or foster parents, no questions asked.

The purpose of the law is to give babies the protection they need and to offer a legal alternative for frightened or overwhelmed parents. There is absolutely no reason to put a baby in jeopardy. And it is all with no questions asked.

All 50 states currently have safe-haven laws, which the National Safe Haven Alliance credits for saving at least 1,000 infants nationwide.

Indianahas many families waiting to adopt a child and provide a baby a good home. I encourage you to visit the National Safe Haven Alliance Web page at http://nationalsafehavenalliance.org/ for more information.

As always, I encourage constituents to contact me by e-mail at h67@in.gov, by phone at 1-800-382-9841 or by writing me at the Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.