Successful Surrender Ends 2015 with a Positive Outlook for 2016
PHOENIX, AZ (January 4, 2016) – Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation, the Department of Child Safety, and the Maricopa County Attorney announced today that within the last month a newborn infant was successfully relinquished under Arizona’s Safe Baby Haven law. This makes 34 safe haven babies in the state of Arizona since the law was passed in 2001.
A mother from central Arizona called the Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation 24 hour hotline (1-877-707-2229) and spoke to a staff member of the trained crisis response team. Volunteers responded quickly and diligently to this mother’s needs by offering assistance with a three-step process of parenting, adoption, and the option of safe haven. The newborn has been placed with an adopting family and was able to spend its first Christmas in safe, loving arms.
Greg McKay, Director of the Department of Child Safety confirmed the successful surrender and commended the Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation for their efforts to educate the public on the law and for their work with the expectant mother. “There is help for every woman under this law to deliver safely and surrender anonymously. We understand that not every child is planned, but there can be a plan for every child.”
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery stated that this baby represents opportunity for a future of hope for a new life rather than fear or tragedy for the mom. “I would like to never have to prosecute a woman for abandoning a newborn. God willing this law will save more lives in the future.”
A parent, or agent of that parent, may hand over their unharmed newborn infant within the first 72 hours after birth with no questions asked to any designated safe haven location. These designated safe haven locations in Arizona include any hospital, fire station, on-duty EMT, and any participating churches or adoption agencies that provide signage stating they are willing to accept a safe haven baby.
“This Christmas miracle will in fact be a lifetime of miracles for this child and new family,” said Heather Burner, Executive Director Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with mothers and provide resources they may need, and for the collaboration of efforts with the Department of Child Safety and our organization to ensure the safety of any newborn baby and decreasing the newborn abandonment rate,” said Damien Johnson, Assistant Director for Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation.