High schools to receive pamphlets on safe haven law

Published 12:18 pm Monday, October 22, 2007

By Staff
Special to the Advance
aSchool superintendents across the state will soon be receiving pamphlets about Alabama's safe haven law that Gov. Bob Riley is asking to be distributed to high school students.
The pamphlets encourage parents who don't want their newborn child to take the baby to a hospital emergency room rather than abandoning or discarding the infant where the child could die or suffer injury.
"Our safe haven law has saved babies' lives, and we want to make sure as many people as possible are aware of the protections this law provides to newborns," said Gov. Riley. "Too often, we hear tragic stories about infants who die because a scared and desperate parent abandons them all alone in an unsafe place. Being young or scared is no excuse to abandon a baby, and our safe haven law provides an option to parents who feel they have none."
Commissioner Page Walley of the Alabama Department of Human Resources said that newborns left at hospital emergency rooms will receive immediate physical examination and any medical treatment deemed necessary.
"Under Alabama's safe haven law, a percent can take a newborn baby who is unharmed and is not more than three days old to a hospital that has an emergency room and leave the child with hospital staff,' Commissioner Walley explained. "Hospital staff will take the baby with no questions asked, but may inquire about the circumstances of the infant's birth or family medical history."
If the baby is unharmed, there will be no prosecution of the parent for child abandonment.
After the baby is examined by hospital staff, the Department of Human Resources will take temporary custody and will begin seeking an appropriate home for the child.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox