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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

DHS: Newborn girl declared Iowa's 45th safe haven baby

The Iowa Department of Human services said the baby girl was born Sept. 13 and then released to their custody.
Credit: WOI

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) announced a baby girl born Sept. 13 is the state's 45th baby to go through the state's Safe Haven procedure. 

Iowa's 44th Safe Haven baby was reported in June of this year. 

The baby was released to the custody of DHS. Safe haven babies are placed with currently-approved foster or adoptive families, according to DHS. 

The department says specific details about the baby are withheld "in order to protect the identity of the parents and the children."

Through Iowa's Safe Haven law, parents, or their authorized representative, can leave infants that are 30 days old or younger at a hospital or health care facility without fear of prosecution for abandonment. The main purpose of the law is to keep newborn babies safe from abandonment.

“We want to ensure Iowans know that Safe Haven is an available option if they cannot care for their newborn safely," said Janee Harvey, DHS Division Administrator of Adult, Children and Family Services. "We recognize that these decisions are often made in the midst of crisis and the protocols are built accordingly.”

The Safe Haven law was approved following a 2001 case involving a teen mother that killed her home-delivered newborn.