A baby boy was dropped off at a Cedar Rapids hospital this morning under the state’s "safe haven" law. Roger Munns, a spokesperson with the Iowa Department of Human Services, says the newborn was left at the St. Luke’s Hospital registration desk.
"We do know that a woman brought a child, delivered at home, to the hospital in Cedar Rapids and declared that she did not want the child and wanted it to be considered a safe haven baby," Munns said. The law has now been used 11 times since it took effect in July 2001.
The measure was adopted after the newborn child of a Tama County teenager was found dead in a snowbank. The law allows unwanted babies 14 days or younger to be left at any health care facility with no questions asked.
"We’re told that the child is healthy and assuming that’s the case, the D-H-S will take temporary custody and we’ll place the child in a pre-adoptive home," Munns said. In all 10 previous safe haven cases, the babies have been successfully adopted. Munns says, while the latest case is good news, it’s not the recommended way to handle a troubled pregnancy.
"The safe haven law though is in place for people who come to that moment when they suddenly have that child and the question is ‘what do I do?’ The safe haven law provides a way to do the right thing without any repercussions," Munns said.