Conn. (WTNH) — The Department of Children and Families is raising awareness of the Safe Havens Act for Newborns amid Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The law allows a parent, who does not believe they can for their newborn, to voluntarily give up custody of their infant 30 days old or younger. They will give the baby to the staff of an emergency room and remain anonymous. Then, DCF will place the baby in a pre-approved adoptive home.
Parents who do not harm their newborn will not be criminally charged with abandonment if they bring their baby to a safe place, the law states.
The law depends on anonymity; a nurse will meet the parent in a private area and ask questions regarding the child’s medical history. Parents will be asked their name and address, though they do not have to answer any questions.
“Parents who deliver a baby and find that they cannot or do not want to raise their baby may feel like they have nowhere to turn—but this program gives them an option—a safe haven,” Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “This law prevents newborns from being out in danger and instead places them in loving homes.”
Since the law’s inception in 2001, more than 50 babies have been brought to hospitals across Connecticut, including six at Hartford’s St. Francis Hospital.
Parents who adopted “Adam” via Safe Havens said their hearts were “filled with joy and excitement” when they were chosen.
“As lucky parents of a Safe Havens baby, we want to tell you that you don’t have to be ashamed or scared of using the Safe Havens Law,” Adams’ parents said. “This law will protect your baby, and he or she will be loved, safe and well cared for.”
Learn more about the program here.