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NJ Safe Haven Locations Would Expand Under Bill [AUDIO]

A New Jersey lawmaker plans to introduce legislation to expand the number of Safe Haven locations.

Baby feet
Baby feet (iStock)

“Sometimes it’s intimidating, especially going into a police station to drop off a baby,” said bill sponsor, State Sen. Tony Bucco (R-Denville). “What we want to do is say now they can bring it (the infant) to fire stations or an ambulance, first aid, EMT or rescue squad as long as those facilities are manned 24 hours a day.”

The Safe Haven Infant Protection Act allows an individual to give up an unwanted infant safely, legally and anonymously. The parents, or someone acting on their behalf, can bring a baby less than 30-days-old to any hospital emergency room or police station. The Department of Children and Families will then place the infant in a foster or pre-adoptive home.

“Nobody can ask you why or say, ‘what’s your name?’” Bucco said. “They’re just going to take the baby and protect it.”

The State Senate Health, Human Services and Seniors Citizens Committee is scheduled to consider the measure on Monday.

New Jersey lawmakers passed the Safe Haven Infant Protection Act in 2000, since then more than 58 babies have been safely handed over to authorities according to statistics from DCF.  Thirty-nine babies have been abandoned unsafely.

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