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Newborn girl declared Iowa’s 28th Safe Haven Baby

This news story was published on July 13, 2017.
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DES MOINES – Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) officials have used the state’s safe haven procedures for the 28th time since the law went into effect.

A newborn girl was born July 6, 2017, at an Iowa hospital and the infant was released to the custody of the DHS.

A court hearing to terminate parental rights is held within a month. Specific details are withheld in order to protect the identity of the parents and child.

“Under the safe haven law, parents in crisis are protected from prosecution for abandonment, allowing them to safely leave an infant at a hospital or health care facility, no questions asked,” said Jerry R. Foxhoven, director of DHS. “Most importantly, the life and health of newborns is protected.”

Through Iowa’s safe haven law, parents have the option to safely hand over custody of babies age 14 days or younger without fear of prosecution for abandonment. The parent, or their authorized representative, can leave the newborn at a hospital or health care facility, and can remain anonymous.

In April of this year, the 27th baby was declared a safe haven baby.

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.

If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, visit this page.

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