Betts, Pavalock urge awareness of Safe Haven law

In honor of the second annual Safe Haven Awareness Day on April 4, State Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) joined legislators from districts throughout Connecticut in urging public education on the importance of this lifesaving bill, said a press release from Republicans.

“I am a very strong supporter of doing anything we can to preserve the life of a newborn baby,” said Betts, according to the press release. “There are so many people waiting to adopt babies and I believe these babies would be welcomed into a loving and caring family environment. I urge anyone who does not wish to, or is incapable of taking care of a newborn baby, to please bring the baby to Bristol Hospital or their local hospital, so that it can be take care of and placed with a loving family.”

Since its passage in 2000, the press release said, Connecticut’s Safe Havens law has saved 27 infants from abandonment and near certain death. The parents, too, of these infants have been saved from possible incarceration and a life overshadowed by the crime of neonaticide, committed in a moment of panic.

“It is so important that people are aware that this law exists and that safe havens are available in Bristol and across the state to help people in dire need of this safe alternative to abandoning their baby,” said Pavalock-D’Amato in the press release. “The sad reality is that many unwanted babies have been left in life-threatening danger, most recently, in Harwinton where an infant baby boy’s body was found in the reservoir. This law provides a safe alternative and an anonymous way for parents to give up their children so they can be taken care of.”

The Safe Haven law, enacted in 2000, helps prevent the crime of neonaticide by allowing anyone to drop off a newborn baby (within the first 30 days of life) at any hospital emergency room in Connecticut, said the press release. 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. The police will not be called and no one will be arrested, assuming 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.