Senator Boucher Calls for Increased Public Awareness of State’s Safe Haven Law

April 4, 2017

On the second annual Safe Havens Awareness Day today, State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) called for greater public awareness of this life-saving law. The law allows anyone to leave an infant that is less than 31-days-old at any hospital emergency room in Connecticut.

“Since its passage in 2000, Connecticut’s Safe Havens law saved 27 infants from abandonment and, possibly, death,” Senator Boucher said. “The law also saved the parents of these children. If, in a moment of panic, they took actions that resulted in the death of their child, they could have been prosecuted. Instead, this law provides another option.”

Under the law, the person dropping off the baby — whether it’s the infant’s mother, father, grandparents or a family friend — will be given a bracelet matching one put on the infant by hospital staff. Police will not be called and no one will be arrested, as long as the infant has not been abused. If the parents of the child change their minds within 30 days, they may petition to get the baby back.

While I applaud the success of this law, it appears that the law in unknown to some in our state because children continue to be abandoned,” Sen. Boucher said. “As recently as 2014, a young woman was prosecuted after her deceased baby was found in garbage outside an East Haven home. Two lives are now lost.”

Police have not released the circumstances that lead to the death of an infant found last month in a reservoir in Harwinton.

“I wish this law wasn’t necessary,” Sen. Boucher said, “but it is. Whatever circumstances may lead someone to abandon a newborn, knowing about this law will save both of their lives.”

Sen. Boucher said organizations like the United Way, Department of Children and Families, Commission on Women, Children, & Seniors, and others are working to educate the public. She hopes using her platform as an elected official will bolster their cause.

Sen. Boucher represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.