House bill would extend time in which newborn infants could be dropped off at "safe haven" sites

01/07/2016 01:58 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill which would increase the amount of time that a newborn infant could be dropped off at a hospital or police station with no questions asked is being considered by the House Standing Committee on Health and Welfare.

House Bill 97, sponsored by Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, would increase the age limit in the definition of a newborn infant from three to 30 days for the purposes of The Safe Infants Act.

Burch believes that extending the time would give the mother more time to consider if she wants to turn the child over and maybe include more useful information about the child.

“Maybe she’ll want to pull some data about the baby’s health and her health issues or the father’s health issues if she knows them she does not have to give that information, but if she wants to she can,” Burch said.

Burch thinks the current 72-hour limit is simply too short of time for some mothers to make such a decision.

“Seventy-two hours is too short a time for a woman to make that decision,” Burch said. “Particularly if she’s a very young woman. You should have some cooling off time before you make a decision like that.”

Burch says the number one goal with the bill is to provide a safe haven for newborns
who might otherwise be abandoned.


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