Recent Newborn Abandonments Could Help
Courtesy Photo: Mike Morrisey, Baby Safe
LANSING - After last week's discovery of a newborns body at a Roseville recycling center, residents and police continue to search for answers as to who this baby is and who he belongs to.
Not only are people questioning the identity of both the subject and the baby, they're questioning why cases like this continue to happen despite Michigan's Safe Haven Law.
Michigan's Safe Haven Law went into effect January of 2001 and has since saved the lives of some 120 babies, including 12 in 2014.
Under the state law, you can leave your baby with a staff member at any hospital, fire station, police station or any emergency service provider that's on duty as long as your baby is not more than 72-hours-old.
One of those safe delivery sites is the Meridian Township Police Department, which has yet to receive a newborn.
"Not too many people are aware of [this law]. You do see some signs around certain locations about safe delivery and I guess the point of those is to get people to try and think about it and look into what it is, but it's not a well known law," said Meridian Township Police Lieutenant Greg Frenger.
After the baby is dropped off, the emergency service provider should immediately accept the newborn and take it into temporary protective custody without a court order.
The law was created to prevent panicked parents from deserting newborns in unsafe places like bathrooms, streets, garbage's or recycling centers, such as the one in Roseville, MI.
"If someone comes in, we have a process and a policy and a package of info we will break out. We will ask them for their information and if they don't want to provide it they don't have to. We will also ask for family medical history even if they don't provide their name," Frenger said.
Under state law, all information given will be kept confidential.
"If someone is considering their options as their pregnancy goes on, this is an option for them and we would encourage them to use it," Frenger said.