In light of the sad news story, Baby Found Alive in Box, DHS Wants Custody | NBC 10 Philadelphia, below is a helpful resource on Safe Haven laws that may save a child’s life (and keep parents out of jail)
This brief introduction summarizes how States address this topic in statute. To access the statutes for a specific State or territory, visit the State Statutes Search.
Many State legislatures have enacted legislation to address infant abandonment and infanticide in response to a reported increase in the abandonment of infants. Beginning in Texas in 1999, “Baby Moses laws” or infant safe haven laws have been enacted as an incentive for mothers in crisis to safely relinquish their babies to designated locations where the babies are protected and provided with medical care until a permanent home is found. Safe haven laws generally allow the parent, or an agent of the parent, to remain anonymous and to be shielded from prosecution for abandonment or neglect in exchange for surrendering the baby to a safe haven.