The Iowa Department of Human Services says another baby has been turned over to the state under the "Safe Haven" law. D.H.S. spokesman Roger Munns says the baby boy was born Tuesday. He says the parents didn’t want the child, so the Safe Haven procedures were used. Munns says they are not identifying the area where the baby was born.
"Part of the spirit of the law is to protect the identity of the identity parents and not hold them up to ridicule when they make the decision to do the right thing, so because of that we don’t identify where the child was delivered," Munns says. This is the 12th baby given to the state since the Safe Haven law went into effect in July of 2001. The law was passed after a high-profile case in 2001 where a teen-aged girl in eastern Iowa delivered a baby and then killed it.
Munns says the Safe Haven law is not the best way to handle an unwanted pregnancy. "Of course the best way would be to consult with people who matter to you, then get prenatal care and then make arrangements for adoption, there are lots of people out there waiting for children," Munns says. He says if you find yourself in a panic and don’t know what to do, the Safe Haven law is there.
A similar law in Nebraska recently gained national attention as lawmakers had to change their law to put in an age limit for the children being dropped off. While it had no relation to Iowa’s law, Munns says the attention probably help all states by focusing attention the Safe Haven option.
Munns says he suspects all the news about the Nebraska situation caused people to be aware of the Iowa law, and he says that’s good because they don’t have money to publicize the law. A hearing will be held in one month to terminate the parental rights for the latest baby to be dropped off in Iowa and the child will be adopted by a family that has been approved by the state.