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Iowa Department of Human Services reports safe haven baby born in April

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 8:34 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Someone surrendered a baby to the Iowa Department of Human Services under Iowa’s Safe Haven Law.

A baby born on April 23rd was recently voluntarily put in DHS custody.

This is the 48th baby surrendered since Safe Haven was signed into law 20 years ago. It allows parents or guardians to surrender infants 30 days or younger at a hospital or healthcare facility, no questions asked, and without fear of prosecution for 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 in a statement. “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.

If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please visit www.iowafosterandadoption.org.

For more information on the Safe Haven procedure: http://dhs.iowa.gov/safe-haven.

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