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Safe Haven laws lets people surrender newborns without consequence

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Posted at 10:48 AM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 11:48:33-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Officials are reminding people of a law in Texas that allows parents to give their newborn up with no questions asked after a newborn was found dead at an Applebee’s restaurant earlier this month in Irving.

This law is known as the Texas Safe Haven, or Baby Moses, law.

There have been more than 130 babies surrendered under Texas’ Safe Haven law since the state started tracking them in 2004, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

“So the 'Baby Moses law' or 'Safe Haven law' was implemented due to the large amount of abandonments," said Corpus Christi Medical Center-Bay Area ER nurse manager Krystelle Norskow. "So it was implemented to provide a safe space for parents to take their infants 60 days (old) or less.”

If you have a newborn you are unable to take care of, you can leave it in a safe place with no questions asked.

“If you watched the news recently, we have seen an alarming number of increases in infant abandonment," Norskow said. "The goal is to provide a safe space in the community where a mother (or) a father can take their infant child so they are not injured. What we want to do is to make sure that the baby is safe.”

The Corpus Christi Medical Center, and other facilities across the city, have reminder signs to let parents know that they are a legal, and safe, option to for leaving their infant.

“You may take your baby to any hospital, fire station or EMS station in Texas, and here at Corpus Christi Medical Center we are dedicated to provide a safe shelter for the youngest members of our community,” she said.

The Baby Moses law, states that if you leave your unharmed infant at a safe haven, you will not be prosecuted for abandonment or neglect.

“When somebody invokes this Safe Haven law ..., we are going to provide a physical for the infant to ensure they are in good medical condition and safe. Then we contact the authorities,” said Norskow.

To qualify for Safe Haven laws:

  • Your baby must be younger than 60 days old and unharmed
  • You need to give your baby to an employee who works at one of these places and tell this person you are invoking safe haven laws.
  • You may be asked by an employee for family or medical history to make sure that your baby receives the care they need.

For more information, go to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Baby Safe Haven, or The Baby Moses Project, or call the Texas Baby Moses Hotline at 1-877-904-7283.