INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Officials are encouraging distressed mothers to use Indiana’s Safe Haven Law after a baby boy was found abandoned in a bathroom trash can Friday night. The law allows anyone to drop off a newborn baby at an emergency room or a police or fire station – no questions asked.
“We’ll help you, we’ll help you if you’re distressed, if you’re depressed, if there’s issues involving the birth of that child, we’ll take care of that baby,” said Dr. Louis Profeta.
The law was put into place in 2000 after a baby was found abandoned outside Community North Hospital and froze to death.
“Moms need to know that you can take your newborn infant to any fire station, any police station or any hospital without any repercussions,” said IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams.
Mothers are encouraged to stay and give officials the baby’s medical history and birth date, but it is not required.
“All they have to do is show up. They can put the baby down, they can run out of the department if they want. We will take care of that child,” said Profeta.
It’s a message many wish Briana Holland, 22, of Indianapolis, had heard before police say she left her infant in a trash can at a west side business Friday night. Fortunately, in that case, someone found the baby before it was too late. Still, officers say the situation could have been easily avoided.
“We’re concerned on many levels because there was a fire station literally right across the street,” said Adams.
Law enforcement, doctors and firefighters agree young, distressed mothers need to learn about their options if they are feeling unprepared for parenthood.
“She obviously felt like she didn’t have anyone to talk to about her concerns about being a young mother,” said Rita Reith with IFD.
Distressed parents can access counseling, ask questions or turn over their baby at any safe haven location.
“It is not our desire or job to question why you’re doing what you’re doing,” said Reith.