ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — A baby recently left for dead outside a Chicago fire station is traveling to emergency facilities across the state to educate people about the Illinois Safe Haven Law and the options available.
Illinois passed the Safe Haven Act in 2001. It offers options for people who are in a difficult situation. Emergency shelters, hospitals, and fire and police are now speaking up to let more people know that help is around every corner.
The Illinois Safe Haven Law permits the surrender of newborns up to 30 days of age. It protects the parents from civil or criminal charges. “We don’t care what led to this decision because I’m sure it’s very, very difficult to make. Our goal is to make sure the child is safe and that’s what we’re here for,” said Division Chief Matthew Knott of the Rockford Fire Department.
You can drop off a baby for safe haven, no questions asked. Hospitals, emergency care facilities, police and fire departments are all safe havens.
The law requires anyone wishing to leave a newborn baby to try to reach someone in the building. If there is no physical handover, this is considered abandonment. The Safe Haven Act applies to birth mothers and birth fathers as well as legal guardians.
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