Safe Delivery offers option for newborns

The situation is difficult for most of us to comprehend.

A woman in Michigan has, or is about to have, a baby. That woman decides she can’t adequately care for that baby but doesn’t know what to do or where to turn.

That’s the reasoning behind Michigan’s Safe Delivery law that allows a biological parent to surrender an infant no more than three days old to an emergency service provider — a uniformed or otherwise identified employee or contractor of a hospital, fire department or police on duty; or a paramedic or emergency medical technician who responds to a 911 call.

Under the law, parents may anonymously give up an infant soon after birth without fear of being prosecuted or otherwise targeted for any further action.

The program recently hit a milestone with the 200th surrender.

“These are 200 newborn babies who have been given a chance at life thanks to this important law,” said Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Safe Delivery provides parents who may be in a desperate situation a safe, legal and anonymous option of surrendering an infant who will be placed in a loving, adoptive home.”

MDHHS wants all Michiganders to be aware of the law. Unfortunately, situations remain in which parents abandon their babies in unsafe locations, where they might be exposed to disease, neglect or other dangers.

A communications toolkit and other resource materials are available at www.michigan.gov/safedelivery to help more people understand the law and how they can help promote awareness in their community.

Parents, professionals and other residents also can call the toll-free 24-hour Safe Delivery hotline at 866-733-7733.

Daily News (Iron Mountain)

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