Friday, February 28, 2020
While most of us view having a child as a beautiful and wonderful thing, the unfortunate reality is that this is not always the case for some parents.
In 2000, Indiana joined 45 other states in enacting a Safe Haven Law for the protection of infants.
Indiana’s Safe Haven Law offers distressed and overwhelmed parents another option by allowing a person to anonymously give up their unwanted infant that is 30 days or younger without fear of arrest or prosecution. As long as there are no signs of intentional abuse on the baby, no information is required of the person leaving the baby.
Under the Safe Haven Law, individuals can surrender a child to an emergency service provider or in a Safe Haven Baby Box – a safety incubator installed at fire stations and hospitals where emergency medical service providers are located 24/7. When an infant is placed in a Baby Box, an alarm sounds that notifies firefighters and medical professionals that the baby is there. They then transport the infant to a nearby hospital. Once the baby is examined and, if needed, given medical treatment, the Indiana Department of Child Services will take the baby into custody and place the child with a caregiver.
Currently, there are 21 Safe Haven Baby Box locations in Indiana, the most of any state in the country, and four infants have been safely surrendered in the last six months.
For more information on Safe Haven Baby Boxes, click here.