New mothers concerned about their ability to care for a new child will be more aware of the options available to them after pregnancy thanks to legislation heard in the HHS Budget Division Monday. The bill would provide additional funding to increase awareness about the availability of the Safe Places for Newborns program and the protections that come with the law.
Currently, a person may anonymously leave a newborn baby with an employee of a hospital or with ambulance personnel who are responding to an emergency call. The baby has to be born within the last seven days, be unharmed, and left by either the mother or a person who has the mother’s approval to do so. The staff of the facility must not try to determine the identity of the mother, the person leaving the baby, or call the police. The law also stipulates the personnel entrusted with the baby then contact the local social services agency. (S.F. 796)