Legislation would expand Indiana's Safe Haven Law

House Bill 1230 would allow baby boxes to be placed at any EMS station that has 24-7 staffing. Parents could also legally give up custody of their newborn to medical staff after delivery at a health care facility.

Posted: Mar 18, 2021 3:25 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2021 6:03 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — Indiana legislators are trying to expand a law designed to protect babies.

The Safe Haven Law was passed in 2000, and it allows parents to anonymously give up a baby up to 30 days old without being prosecuted.

Now lawmakers want to add more options.

House Bill 1230 would allow baby boxes to be placed at any EMS station that has 24-7 staffing.

Parents could also legally give up custody of their newborn to medical staff after delivery at a health care facility.

In addition, a parent could call 911 and have EMS staff come to take the newborn.

Republican State Senator Brian Buchanan has been upfront about his support of the bill.

"This is just another way, an avenue where if a new mother has a baby and they feel like there's nowhere else to turn, it gives them an avenue to give up the baby, to surrender the baby," Buchanan said.

This law was expanded in 2017 to apply to baby boxes, and again in 2018 to include baby boxes at fire stations.

The bill has passed the House and Senate and now goes back to the House for a final vote.

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