DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) –Iowa officials have announced that the state’s safe haven procedure was used for the 44th time.
According to the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), a baby boy, born June 5, was released to their custody.
Through the Safe Haven Law, parents or an authorized representative can leave infants 30 days or younger at a hospital or health care facility without fear of prosecution for abandonment.
DHS Division Administrator of Adult, Children and Family Services Janee Harvey said that the purpose of the law is to protect the lives of newborns who are in danger of abandonment.
“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,” Harvey said.
Infants who are safe haven babies are placed with currently-approved foster or adoptive families.
The law was approved after an incident in 2001 involving a teen mother in eastern Iowa who killed her home-delivered newborn.
For more information on the Safe Haven procedure, click here.