Safe Delivery Baby Box
HB 5750, 5953 & 5954 – Rep. Bronna Kahle
HB 5751 – Rep. Daire Rendon
On May 16, 2018 the full house took up the Safe Haven Baby Box legislation and passed it out with broad bipartisan support and a vote of 97-11. The bills are now in the Senate committee on Families, Children and Seniors. A hearing will likely take place in the fall. A hearing was held on May 2, 2018 and all four bills were voted out of the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee with a 9-1 vote on May 10th. HB 5750 and 5751 were introduced on March 22, 2018 by Representatives Bronna Kahle and Daire Rendon respectively and were referred to the House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors. HB 5953 and 5954 are compendium bills that were introduced on May 9, 2018 by Representative Bronna Kahle.
HB 5750, 5751, 5953 and 5954 modify the existing Save Delivery of Newborns Act by allowing for specialized baby boxes for the purpose of safely surrendering a newborn. In addition, the bills will increase the current age of surrender of the infant from 72 hours old 30 days old. The baby boxes will be climate controlled, will lock upon closing, and will trigger an alarm for a rescue worker to retrieve the newborn.
Safe Delivery Laws have been enacted in all 50 states and have worked to save babies who would otherwise be abandoned. Every year stories of dead infants found abandoned in garbage containers, in the woods or in public toilets shock the public. The Safe Delivery law was designed to allow a woman to anonymously surrender her newborn baby up to 72 hours old with a hospital, fire station or police department. No criminal charges are brought, and no questions are asked. The baby is then placed for adoption. The woman or the father of the baby can change their minds and request that the infant be returned within 28 days of surrender.
Michigan passed the Safe Delivery of Newborns Act in 2006. Since that time, over 200 infants have been safely surrendered and placed for adoption. Currently, Indiana and Arizona have Safe Delivery Baby Boxes. Around the world, leaving a baby in a box on the doorstep of a church or convent has been going on for centuries. In order to provide a safe and anonymous option for women in crisis, many countries have adopted safe delivery laws.