What is the safe haven law in Louisiana?

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A baby was found abandoned late last month inside a plastic bag in the middle of the woods in Georgia.

All over the country, people are now emphasizing the fact that ‘safe haven’ laws exist.

News 10’s Rebeca Marroquin looks at exactly what that law entails here in Louisiana.

Mary Broussard, supervisor of social services at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Hospital, says “if a mother at any point feels like she is unable to care for her child or feels that their child is in jeopardy she can go to one of the safe haven sites. These safe haven sites are like hospitals, clinics, manned fire stations, manned police stations, but it’s required that they surrender the baby to a person who works there.”

She says the safe haven law is made possible thanks to the people at the safe sites.

Alton Trahan, Public Information Officer for the Lafayette Fire Department explains, “fortunately for us in the fire department, we have at least 14 fire stations where if someone who’s in need can actually drop off an infant where we can receive that infant because we’re medically trained to evaluate and then once we evaluate, then we do the necessary steps of transporting or calling someone else to transport the baby to the hospital where they can get further treatment.”

He adds that for those mothers who may not be able to travel, it’s possible for the ‘safe site’ to come to you, “also in the safe haven law it allows you to call 911. and once you do that, you let them know that you want to drop your newborn off using the safe haven law. then we would respond. fire department would respond, law enforcement would respond to your actual address.”

Only babies from newborn up to 60 days old can be surrendered. The baby cannot show any signs of abuse or neglect.

With this law, the parent can simply walk away knowing their baby will be safe.

For more information on the safe haven law and to find the closest safe haven site to you, you can click here.

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