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HCHC serves as SAFE HAVEN for Newborns

Henry County Health Center and Park Place, HCHC’s long term care facility, would like to remind the public of their participation in the Safe Haven Act.

What is the Safe Haven Act and what does it do?  The Safe Haven Act allows a distressed parent to surrender an unwanted infant up to 14 days old at a “SAFE HAVEN” safely, legally, and confidentially. The Safe Haven Act was signed into law in Iowa in April of 2001.

A Safe Haven is an institutional health facility, like a hospital or nursing home.  The public will know the facility is a Safe Haven by the Safe Haven Logo that is displayed at the facility. This can work in two ways. Parents can come into the hospital and give a healthcare professional the infant, or parents can leave the baby at the hospital and immediately call the hospital/facility or call 911 to let the person on duty know the location of the baby and that the baby was left there under the provision of the Safe Haven Act.

The hospital (safe haven) cannot require the name of the parent or parents, and cannot require the history of the baby or the baby’s parents.   It is a legal way to make sure the baby is cared for and safe, and the person leaving the baby does not need to fear arrest or going to court. For more information on Safe Havens, call HCHC’s Quality/Risk Manager at 385-6126.