Safe haven law expansion takes effectPublished 9:27am Wednesday, August 1, 2012
ST. PAUL — Changes to a Minnesota law provide more options for legally abandoning a newborn baby.
The new law taking effect Wednesday says parents can call 911 for an ambulance or take the newborn to an urgent care clinic or hospital within seven days. The old law enacted in 2000 was among the strictest in the nation and required parents to turn over an unwanted newborn to a hospital within three days.
Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson pushed for the new law after the body of a baby girl was found floating in a canvas bag in the Mississippi River near Winona last fall. Jesson also cited three similar infant deaths in southeastern Minnesota.
State law still gives mothers a chance to change their minds and reclaim the children they abandoned.