48th baby surrendered under Iowa safe haven law

National News

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — State officials said a baby was surrendered to state custody under Iowa’s safe haven law.

The Iowa Department of Human Services said a baby boy born April 23 was the state’s 48th safe haven baby.

“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. “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 department did not give details on where the baby was surrendered, citing privacy policies.

Under the law, parents can give the state custody of babies who are 30 days or younger without concern of being prosecuted.

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.

More information about the Safe Haven Act can be found here.

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