Iowa’s Safe Haven law for newborns used for 33rd time

DES MOINES — Officials have announced a boy born in Iowa on February 2nd has been turned over for adoption under the state’s “safe haven” law.

This is the 33rd time the process for voluntarily surrendering parental rights in Iowa shortly after a child’s birth has been used. The option was created by a 2002 state law after a teenage mother in eastern Iowa hid her pregnancy and killed her newborn child. She would have been prosecuted for abandonment at the time if she had left the baby at a hospital.

A parent now may call 911 or leave their baby at a health care clinic or hospital without any legal repercussions within 30 days of the child’s birth.