NEGAUNEE — Since 1998 each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have adopted Safe Haven Laws–which allows young mothers different options should they want to release custody of their newborn or infant. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac has more about the local guidelines and the laws history.
Safe Haven Laws first went into effect in the late ’90s. Timothy Jaccard is the Safe Haven Coordinator for the National Safe Haven Alliance and he says he fathered the law which was first passed in the state of Texas. Jaccard, a police officer, says he began doing more research after he witnessed a few horrific scenes involving infants while on the force.
“I began to research this and I was very upset because there was so many of these events that were occurring,” Jaccard added, “On a positive note, with over 3,000 babies rescued, it’s been a great success because we’ve had birth certificates for these babies not death certificates.”
Here in the state of Michigan, mothers can safely drop off their baby to a local hospital, fire station or police station and leave him or her with a staff member there within 72 hours after the child’s birth.
Michigan State Police Community Service Trooper Stacey Rasanen says, “You can remain anonymous. Any information on the child, we appreciate that information – medical history, you know, date of birth, anything like that – so we can turn that over to [the] Department of Human Services. The child will be checked out at the nearest hospital and then will be placed with a family.”
For the NSHA hotline and more information click here.