Iowa’s safe haven procedures have been used for the 27th time since the law took effect 15 years ago. Amy McCoy is spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Human Services.

“There was a newborn girl, born on April 10, at an Iowa hospital and she was released to our custody the following day,” McCoy said.

More specific details are not released in order to protect the identity of the parents and the child. A court hearing to terminate parental rights will be held within a month.

“What we really want to underscore every time we use these safe have procedures is that it really does protect the life and health of newborns under this law, so parents who are in crisis can be protected from prosecution for abandonment and safely hand over their infant at a hospital or health care facility,” McCoy said.

The law, which requires the parents to hand over the baby within 14 days of birth, 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.

In all 26 previous safe haven cases, the baby was successfully adopted.

Iowans who are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent can learn more at