Arizona’s safe haven law is designed to protect at-risk newborns

Jan 18, 2019, 4:00 AM

PHOENIX – After the tragic death of a baby at an Amazon facility, Arizonans should be aware of the law designed to help at-risk newborns whose parents are unable to care for them.

“The safe haven baby law is meant to protect very young infants and also the anonymity of the parent,” Capt. Kenny Overton, Phoenix Fire Department spokesman, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

Under the 2001 law, a parent can surrender an unharmed baby up to 72 hours old to a designated safe haven facility, with no questions asked and no repercussions.

According to the Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation website, the law has saved 36 newborns.

“You are not required to give any information to the safe haven provider,” Overton said.

Fire stations, hospitals and churches are among the facilities that take part in the program.

“This includes a firefighter who’s on duty, an EMT who’s on duty, staff member at health care institutions or a staff member at any child welfare agency or adoption agency,” Overton said.

On Wednesday night, the body of a newborn girl was found in an Amazon warehouse restroom in Phoenix.

A Phoenix Police Department spokesman said investigators have located and spoken to the mother, who was not identified.

The police investigation will continue in consultation with the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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Arizona’s safe haven law is designed to protect at-risk newborns