IL - Governor Ryan today signed legislation aimed at keeping babies in
"In fiscal year 2000 there were 38 abandoned babies under the age
of 1 year. That's 38 infants too many!" said Director Jess McDonald
"If this legislation helps even a few children, then it will have
done its job," the Governor added.
The Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act grants parents/guardians immunity
from criminal prosecution if they safely abandon their infants, three
days old or younger, at a hospital, medical emergency facility or fire
station. "By granting immunity from prosecution and anonymity, individuals
who cannot care for their newborn infant can safely abandon their baby
without fear of criminal prosecution and with the knowledge the child
is safe," said Governor Ryan.
Even though abandonment of an infant can be done anonymously, the accepting
facility may ask for medical background information from the parent/guardian
at the time of relinquishment. Providing complete medical histories might
prove useful for the baby later in the infant's life.
Illinois will join 15 other states that have implemented statutes concerning
the safe abandonment of infants. In each case, statutes were enacted to
prevent individuals from abandoning infants in unsafe environments.
"Throwing a baby in a dumpster without regard for the infants' safety,
is usually the act of a young mother who is desperate and believes she
has no place to turn," said Governor Ryan. "This legislation
provides those desperate women with an alternative that produces a positive
outcome for the child."
The Safe Haven legislation will automatically expire in 2007 unless the
legislature moves to extend the act.
View the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act.