Safe Haven Law gives options to unsure mothers

Dougherty County authorities said after finding a baby in a trash can, women who are unsure about being a parent have options.

Under the Georgia Safe Haven Law, a mother can leave a baby up to seven days old with an employee of a medical institution with no questions asked. According to the National Safe Haven Alliance the program has been a success, yet some people still don't know that it exists.

One medic explained how the process works.

"We would obviously take the child in, make sure the child is okay and obviously we would have to call the Department of Family and Children Services and get them involved," said Paramedic Assistant Supervisor Kenny Nolf.

In Georgia, not all emergency facilities can accept newborns. According to the Law, only hospitals, birthing centers, and medical facilities can take in a child. Unlike some other states, fire and police stations are prohibited.

In addition to Safe Haven Laws, people who decide they are not ready to be parents have options.

Donna Murphy, President of the Lee County Right to Life organization, said there are pregnancy centers that will hook them up with people who are anxious to have a baby.

Murphy said there are programs that would benefit both parent and child, before and after birth.

To get more information about Georgia Safe Haven Laws visit the National Safe Haven Alliance website at

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