BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) —
The Safe Haven Law gives options for a parent to safely surrender a baby.
The Safe Haven Law allows a parent to anonymously surrender their unharmed infant in a safe place with no recriminations. All 50 states have their own version of the Safe Haven Law.
At the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services, they say that safe place could be a police station, hospital, fire department, children’s services agency or even a store.
They say it can be any place where that child will be found quickly and cared for.
There is no penalty, no threat of prosecution, child abandonment or anything like that. So young women especially are feeling desperate and they don’t know what to do, but this gives them the opportunity to make sure that their child will be taken care of by someone, if they don’t feel they can do that. And we’re not going to be searching for them.Jeff Felton — Executive Director, Belmont County Dept. of Job & Family Services
In West Virginia and Ohio, the baby must be less than 30 days old.
Felton says they want women to know about this option. He says it gives them the opportunity to do something good for their child, even if they can’t take care of it themselves.