6 months ago by Jim Dewey
The discovery of a newborn in a dumpster in Jacksonville brings a reminder that parents of newborn children who cannot or will not take care of their infant - do not need to resort to desperate measures to abandon the child.
While the laws differ somewhat in each state - Illinois, Iowa and Missouri each have Safe Haven or Infant Abandonment laws on the books. In fact, every state has a law in place to allow an unharmed infant to be relinquished to the proper authorities, no questions asked.
In Illinois an infant up to 30 days old can be taken to a hospital - police or fire station or EMS location. Infants up to a year old can be taken to the same locations in Missouri. Iowa law allows infants up to 14 days old to be dropped off at any medical facility.
According to the National Safe Haven Alliance "’Baby Safe Haven’ laws or infant abandonment laws were created to remove the potential for prosecution so long as children were given unharmed and given to proper authorities.”