Arizona’s Safe Haven Law Worked: Baby in New Home

Arizona’s Safe Haven law worked the way it was intended when a baby was brought to Tucson Medical Center recently.

The baby was full-term when brought to the emergency room.

Clinical staff members fed, changed and examined the baby.

The law, passed in 2001 to curtail child abandonment, states that any distressed parent who is unwilling or unable to care for a baby can give up custody to a Safe Haven provider, no questions asked, within 72 hours of a baby’s birth.

As long as there are no signs of abuse, names and other information are not required and the parent would not face charges.

“The person bringing the baby did the right thing,” said Pat Brown, the manager of the nursery intensive care unit at TMC. “Other choices could have been made. So while we don’t know what the circumstances were, we do know for this baby, the right decision was made.”

Child Protective Services was called to assist and by mid-morning, an adoption agency was already at work to find a placement. The child was discharged and is already with an adoptive family.

“The law worked the way it was supposed to,” Brown said.

The Arizona Daily Star has a story in Friday’s newspaper about the program. To read more, check out: http://azstarnet.com/news/science/health-med-fit/newborn-left-at-tucson-medical-center-under-safe-baby-program/article_7d2692a2-f44b-5dc6-bf54-0fa01287cb81.html

For counseling and details about the Safe Baby program, call the Arizona Safe Haven hotline at 1-866-707-BABY (2229).

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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