BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge mother handed her infant child to an employee at a local fire station because she said she was no longer able to care for the baby.
"This mother made a very difficult decision today and I commend her for it," said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. "Instead of abandoning her baby, she placed the child in the arms of someone who will ensure his safety.
The baby was taken to Women's Hospital where it was examined and found to be in good health. The child will be placed with a foster family.
"This underscores the importance of Louisiana's Safe Haven law," Walters added. "It saves lives."
Louisiana passed the Safe Haven law 16 years ago due to a series of high-profile infant abandonment cases across the country.
Under the current law, a parent is allowed to relinquish custody of a child that is 60 days old or under. The child can be relinquished to any employee at any emergency care facility, which includes any licensed hospital, public health unit, emergency medical service provider, medical clinic, fire or police station, pregnancy crisis center or child advocacy center.
After the child is relinquished, he or she is provided a medical examination. The relinquishing parent is provided a card with a toll-free phone number (1-800-CHILDREN or 1-800-244-5373) to call and receive information about parental rights and provide anonymous information about the infant's medical and genetic history, if desired.
For more information about the Louisiana Safe Haven law, call 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373) or click here.