Mother gives up baby under Louisiana’s Safe Haven law

BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) – A Baton Rouge mother who said she was no longer able to care for her infant gave her baby to an employee at a Baton Rouge-area fire station today under the state’s Safe Haven law.

The state Department of Child and Family Services said in a news release that fire department personnel took the baby to Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge. The baby was in good health.

Louisiana’s Safe Haven law allows children up to 60 days old to be relinquished to an employee at a designated emergency care facility.

These include any licensed hospital, public health unit, emergency medical service provider, medical clinic, fire or police station, pregnancy crisis center or child advocacy center.

Since 2004, 44 infants have been relinquished in Louisiana using the Safe Haven law, most recently an infant in the Covington area last October.

“This mother made a very difficult decision today and I commend her for it,” said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. “Instead of abandoning her baby, she placed the child in the arms of someone who will ensure his safety. This underscores the importance of Louisiana’s Safe Haven law. It saves lives.”

The baby will be placed with a foster family.