SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Following a baby abandoned in Springfield, the incident has brought new attention to a 2004 state law, the Baby Safe Haven law.
The Baby State Haven Law allows a parent to legally surrender a newborn to a manned fire station, hospital or police station in the state of Massachusetts without criminal persecution. 22News took a closer look at the law and the procedures public safety professionals are trained to follow when a baby is surrendered. Newborn baby abandoned in Springfield was outside for nearly 48 hours
“The safe haven law provides for individuals to do that so long as the baby is under the age of 7 days old, so essentially a new born infant,” said Bob Murphy, Associate Attorney for the Law Offices of Joseph E. Bernard.
Springfield Fire Captian Drew Piemonte and his collegues have prepared to respond to surrendered babies since the law was enacted. He says after thanking the person for bringing the baby a safe place, they try and get information, like the baby’s name and important medical conditions. EMS is then called in to check the infant’s health.
After the infant is medically screened, DCF will place the baby in an approved foster of pre-adoptive home. Captain Piemonte says its not the just the infant’s health that is important.
“If they’re bringing an infant to a fire station, you know they are at their last resort. So we try and treat them with the utmost respect and let them know we are not judgmental and we’re here to help,” said Piemonte.
Mothers 22News spoke to expressed concern for the person who left a baby on Springfield doorstep this past weekend.
Tamita Council of Springfield said, “The mom was probably going through some sort of post partum depression, maybe they didn’t know how to handle having a newborn or knowing exactly what to do and if you don’t have the right people to support you, anything can go wrong.”
The number of babies surrendered in Massachusetts through the Safe Haven Law remains low. Since 2018 there’s been a total of five. Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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