Safe Havens Try To Save Unwanted Babies
DCS and others try to let people know about
The law that lets parents voluntarily give up newborn infants changed recently, and the Department of Child Services and Prevent Child Abuse Indiana are trying to let more people know about it.
Listen to Ray's interview with Jennifer Hubbartt of the Department of Children's Services:
The Safe Haven law lets people surrender an unwanted infant anonymously, without fear of arrest or any other repurcussions. A modification to the law took effect July 1 which reduces the age in which babies can be surrendered from 45 days to 30 days. The babies can be left with a firefighter, law enforcement officer, paramedic, physician, nurse, EMT or any other person that provides emergency medical services.
Jennifer Hubbartt, regional manager for the Department of Children's Services in Marion County, says once the baby is examined, DCS will take the baby into protective custody, and says many of the children are put into adoptive homes a short time after they are surrendered. "It's for both the protection of the parents, but most importantly for the newborn baby."
Hubbartt says they are hoping to get more information about Safe Haven to the public through a new campaign with IndyGo, where the Safe Haven Hotline will be featured on the backs of several IndyGo buses. "Because the alternative to turning a baby over to a medical provider is one that usually has a tragic outcome, and that is what we are trying to prevent with this," says Hubbartt.
The number for the hotline is 1-877-796-HOPE, or a counselor can also be reached by dialing 2-1-1.
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