A newborn baby was dropped off at an Iowa hospital late Friday, abandoned by its mother. It’s the fourth time Iowa’s “Safe Haven” law has been used by a new mother who doesn’t want her child. Roger Munns, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Human Services, says since the mother took her baby to a hospital, she will not be charged with abandonment.Munns says the baby boy was healthy, stayed in the hospital for a couple of days and is now in a foster home with parents who intend to adopt him. Munns says there was no note left with the child, and there’s little more he can say about the case. It’s the fourth time Iowa’s “Safe Haven” law has been used.The “Safe Haven” law went into effect in July 1, 2001 after the high-profile “Baby Chelsea” case in which a teen mother who had tried to keep her pregnancy secret killed her newborn baby. That young woman’s now serving prison time for the crime. The law allows troubled mothers to drop their babies off at a health care facility, like a hospital, for safe-keeping, and they won’t be charged with a crime. Munns says they hadn’t expected the law to be used much. Munns says mothers with an unwanted pregnancy are quite troubled, often uninformed and sometimes they deny their own pregnancy. That’s why Munns says it’s surprising and gratifying that there have been four instances already in which unwanted babies have been dropped off at a “safe haven.” However, Munns says if you have doubts about a pregnancy, there are other ways to handle it. Munns says there are plenty of well-established adoption services available to help pregnant women arrange to have their baby adopted. Munns says the state will not reveal where this latest baby was dropped off to protect the identity of the parents, but he did say the baby was white.
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