‘Safe haven’ offers safe place for unwanted newborns - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Localnews

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‘Safe haven’ offers safe place for unwanted newborns

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Posted: Friday, January 15, 2010 12:00 am

As police detectives investigate the dead baby found in a trash can Monday morning in south Phoenix, authorities are reiterating that there are alternatives for mothers with unwanted newborns.

“Basically if you have a newborn baby and you feel you don’t want the baby, you can turn it into a safe haven,” said Phoenix fire Capt. Dorian Jackson.

Safe havens include fire stations, hospitals, outpatient clinics, even a firefighter or paramedic can take a child if it is fewer than 72 hours old.

“If there has been no abuse to the child there will be no questions asked,” Jackson said. The infant will then be turned over to authorities for adoption.

On Monday the parents of a 24-year-old woman learned that she had given birth, then took the newborn to a nearby trash can where she put the baby. The parents retrieved the infant and were on their way to a hospital when they saw a police officer and stopped for help. When firefighters arrived the child was pronounced dead. Detectives are awaiting autopsy results to determine if the child was alive when placed in the trash can before deciding what charges, if any, to bring against the woman.

Phoenix police officer Luis Samudio, a spokesman for the department, said he could only remember a few times over the past years when a mother took advantage of the 2001 Arizona law.

“I’ve only heard of it being used rarely,” Samudio said.

For more information, visit www.Arizonasafebabyhaven.com or call (866) 707-BABY(2229).

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