Sen. Formica Supports Awareness of Safe Haven Law

April 6, 2015

Sen. Paul Formica attends the Safe Haven Law press conference in Hartford on April 2, 2015 to promote a safe alternative to abandoning a newborn baby. Former Rep. Sawyer is speaking at the microphone.

In Connecticut, no one ever has to abandon a child again.

Hartford, CT – State Senator Paul Formica (R- East Lyme) attended a press conference last week to promote April 2, Safe Haven Day. House Bill 5793, An Act Establishing Safe Haven Day, would designate April second of each year as Safe Haven Day to promote awareness of safe havens in Connecticut.

The safe haven law, which passed in 2000, enables a distressed parent to anonymously leave an infant at a hospital emergency room without fear of prosecution for abandonment, up to 30 days after birth.

Safe Haven Logo
Safe Haven Logo

“It is important for women to have options and somewhere to turn without having to fear prosecution. This law gives them that comfort,” said Sen. Formica.

Since the law took effect, 24 infants have been surrendered to hospitals, according to CT Department of Children and Families.

By setting aside a day to recognize and communicate how the policy works, supporters say they will be able to reach out to future generations and promote awareness Connecticut’s safe havens without the need for state funding.

Former State Representative Pamela Sawyer who spearheaded the Safe Haven law said, “It is imperative to spread awareness of this law, which saves both the newborn’s and the mother’s life. The law only works if distressed mothers know about it.”

Under the law, when a mother surrenders her infant to the hospital, a nurse or other Emergency room staff asks for personal information and medical records about both her and the baby. The mother has the right to refuse to give this information. Both the mother and baby are also given matching bracelets so that if she changes her mind, the mother may come reclaim the infant with-in 30 days.

After 30 days, the State Department of Children and Families terminates the biological parent’s parental rights and places the baby with an already-licensed family who intends to adopt the child.

Last year, there were more than 50 infants abandoned around the country, 40 of them died. In Connecticut four infants were abandoned and survived as a result of the law.

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