DES MOINES, Iowa — A newborn baby boy became the 22nd child turned over to the state under the state’s Safe Haven law last week.
The baby was brought to a health care facility on January 13. Department of Human Services officials did not say where the facility is located.
“This no-questions asked approach is helping another parent in crisis safely hand over care without legal repercussions,” said DHS Director Charles M. Palmer. “And, it’s helping another child be paired with a stable, loving family.”
The infant was released to the custody of the DHS. A court hearing to terminate parental rights will be held within a month. Specific details are withheld in order to protect the identity of the parents and child. In all previous cases, safe haven babies have been successfully adopted.
Under Iowa’s safe haven law, parents have the option to safely hand over custody of babies age 14 days or younger without fear of prosecution for abandonment. The parent, or their authorized representative, can leave the newborn at a hospital or health care facility, and can remain anonymous.
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.