'Safe Haven' law praised after newborn turned over to hospital staff

Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 3:52pm

Someone walked into a Bedford, Indiana hospital Tuesday and gave up a newborn.

Police and lawmakers are glad they did.

The baby was in good health.

It was relinquished under the state's 10 year-old Safe Haven Law which allows someone to hand over a child under 45 days of age at a hospital ER, Police Station or fire house.

The law was passed after a 2000 case in which someone left a new born in a snow pile outside an Indianapolis Hospital ER entrance.

The baby died before it was discovered.

Since then parents who must give up their children have found a safe and anonymous way to do that. No questions are asked and there are no charges.

James Payne, The Director of Indiana Child Services is pleased that, in this case, the law worked.

"There are ways under the statute to make sure anonymity is maintained that there is no thought of any threat of criminal charges. You don't have to put yourself and, more importantly, a young baby at risk," said Payne.

Again, the child must be under 45 days old and must be taken inside a Hospital ER or police or fire station.

The Bedford baby goes into foster care, has a court appointed guardian and the adoption process will eventually begin.

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