Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Wednesday, December 7, 2011
(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Police Department was notified a day-old baby was left at the IU Health Bedford Hospital emergency room on Tuesday afternoon.
The hospital called police at 4:35 p.m. Child Protective Services was notified of the situation.
Ann Houseworth, director of communications with CPS says the baby is in good health and is with a foster family.
The Lawrence County CPS is being swamped with calls, but says the department has to follow the law and currently this baby is not available for adoption. But Houseworth says resident can help, by considering becoming a foster parent to other children. Those interested can visit dsc.in.gov for more information.
Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig said the department is not investigating the incident.
"CPS was called and the are handling the situation," Craig said "There is a law that protects someone who does drop a child at a hospital or police or fire station. Parents use this law when they feel they can no longer care for a child."
The Indiana Safe Haven Law enables a person to give up an unwanted infant anonymously without fear of arrest or prosecution.
Houseworth said the law has saved hundreds of children in Indiana.
A parent, family member, friend, minister or priest, social worker or any responsible adult may give up custody of a baby less than 45 days old to a hospital emergency room, fire station or police station in Indiana.
As long as there are no signs of intentional abuse on the baby, no information is required of the person leaving the baby. Any knowledge of the date of birth, race, parent medical history, child's health or anything that would be useful to the child's caregiver would be greatly appreciated.
Once the baby is examined and given medical treatment (if needed), the Family and Social Services Administration will take the baby into custody through Child Protective Services where it will be placed with a caregiver.
Distressed parents can receive counseling and get addresses and directions for any hospital, fire station or police station in Indiana by calling the Safe Haven Hotline, 1-877-796-HOPE (4673), or 2-1-1. Parents can learn more by visiting the National Safe Haven Alliance in Indiana website www.safehaven.tv to get more information.
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