July 24, 2014

Baby boy turned over to the state under Safe Haven law

The Iowa Department of Human Services is reporting another child born in the state has been declared a safe haven baby. Amy Lorentzen McCoy is a spokesperson for the DHS. “On April 15, a baby boy was born at an Iowa hospital and his mother immediately asked he be declared a safe haven baby,” Lorentzen McCoy said.

The details are not being released to protect the identity of the parents and the child. This marks the 18th time the state’s safe haven procedures have been used since the safe haven law was enacted in 2002. “It’s really, once again, demonstrating how the safe haven law protects the life of a newborn by allowing a mother in crisis to hand over care if that’s needed,” Lorentzen McCoy said.

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. The baby born last month in Iowa will soon be available for adoption. “The infant was placed in the custody of DHS and then there is a court hearing to terminate parental rights. That happens within a month,” Lorentzen McCoy said.

Under Iowa’s safe haven law, parents may give up custody of babies ages 14 days or younger with no questions asked. In all 17 previous cases, safe haven babies have been successfully adopted.