The discovery of a deceased newborn Sunday in Indianapolis’s Eagle Creek Park highlights the need to raise awareness of Indiana’s Safe Haven Law. Authorities believe the deceased newborn could be just a day old, though an ongoing investigation may provide more answers.
Indiana’s Safe Haven Law allows caregivers to give up an unwanted baby safely, anonymously and without legal consequence. Babies left at any Indiana emergency room, firehouse or police station will be put into custody of the Indiana Division of Family and Social Services Administration before going to a foster or pre-adoptive home.
According to a July 2013 report in the Purdue Exponent, the Safe Haven Law has only been used four times in Indiana. According to the same article, nationally 2,879 babies have been safely abandoned so they can go to adoptive families. Comparing Indiana’s rate to the national rate, it appears the law is under-utilized in Indiana.
Indiana Right to Life supports efforts help caregivers utilize the life-saving law. Rep. Casey Cox (IN-85) has introduced HB 1016 in the Indiana House. This legislation would allow newborn safety incubators, or baby drop boxes, to be installed around the state. These drop boxes would give caregivers greater anonymity when leaving a baby. When a baby is placed inside the box, a silent alarm is triggered for officials to come retrieve the baby.
“The discovery of the newborn at Eagle Creek Park is a tragedy, and we pray for all involved as officials seek answers,” stated Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “We hope that reports of this story include information of the Safe Haven Law so all Hoosiers are aware of this option. The Safe Haven Law gives children a chance at life if their mothers feel they have no other options. We support Rep. Cox’s efforts to expand the Safe Haven Law and hope that his efforts will spread the word of this way to legally and confidently give up a baby.”
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Anyone has any information regarding the circumstances surrounding this incident is asked to contact detectives at 317-327-3475. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). Callers can also text “INDYCS” plus tip information to 274637(CRIMES).
LifeNews Note: File photo.