PHOENIX — April 1 is not just April Fools’ Day; it’s also National Safe Baby Haven Day.
Arizona child welfare activists want to remind young people about a law that exists which allows mothers of newborn babies that are healthy and unharmed to relinquish their parental rights.
The law passed in 2001 and is called the Safe Haven Law. The law identifies places where mothers can safely and anonymously surrender their babies without fear of prosecution. The law stipulates that the child must be under 72 hours old, the mother has no intention of reclaiming the baby and the mother must take the newborn to a safe haven location, like a fire station or hospital.
“To date, there have been 25 babies who’ve been adopted by loving families because of the program,” said Heather Burner with Arizona Safe Baby Haven.
Currently, there is a push to get more schools on board to let young people know about the option of Safe Haven; however, Safe Haven volunteers are meeting some resistance.
“We don’t want to influence any decisions about sex. That’s a job for the kids’ parents,” Burner said. “We simply want young people to know it exists.”