Baby Safe Haven Law: Abandoned Baby Could Have Been Prevented - The Phoenix Family Law News Blog

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Baby Safe Haven Law: Abandoned Baby Could Have Been Prevented

Phoenix police are searching for the mother of a newborn baby girl who was left in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix on Tuesday, reports azfamily.com.

The newborn baby was allegedly only three-to-six-hours-old and still had part of her umbilical cord attached when she was discovered, according to Phoenix Fire Department Captain Scott McDonald.

Witnesses reportedly told police they saw a young and very pregnant Hispanic woman looking distressed near the home around the time the baby was left. Detectives say they are concerned about her health, according to azfamily.com.

The potentially dangerous situation for both the mother and the baby could have been completely prevented if the young mother had known about Arizona’s “Baby Safe Haven Law,” according to McDonald.

Under the Baby Safe Haven Law, a parent can anonymously leave a newborn baby at any staffed firehouse, police station, hospital, church, or adoption agency within 72 hours of the baby’s birth without legal repercussions. The law is reportedly a “safe and legal option to infant abandonment” with “no shame, no blame, no names.”

If a newborn infant isn’t left with a safe haven provider, a parent could potentially face child abuse charges. If the mother is found, it will be up to police and prosecutors to decide whether they should file criminal child abuse charges against her.

Anyone with information about the baby or her mother’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the Phoenix Police Department or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. For more information on safe haven laws, see our Related Resources section.

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