(Undated) -- The 48th safe haven baby has been reported in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Human Services says a baby boy, born April 23rd, was released to D-H-S custody. Through the Safe Haven Baby law, parents or their authorized representative can leave infants age 30-days or younger at a hospital or health care facilitly without fear of prosecution or abandonment.
“The purpose of this law is to protect the lives of newborns who are in danger of abandonment,” said Janee Harvey, DHS Division Administrator of Adult, Children and Family Services. “We want to ensure Iowans know that Safe Haven is an available option if they cannot care for their newborn safely. We recognize that these decisions are often made in the midst of crisis and the protocols are built accordingly.”
The Safe Haven law was approved in the wake of a high-profile case in 2001 involving a teen mother in eastern Iowa who killed her home-delivered newborn. Infants who are safe haven babies are placed with currently-approved foster or adoptive families. All states have Safe Haven laws, although provisions differ.