The New York State Court of Catholic Daughters of the Americas, in keeping with its support of Pro Life, has adopted a new program called Safe Haven/AMT Children of Hope Foundation. All courts in the state are asked to support this program financially and to spread information about its goals.
Safe Haven and the AMT Children of Hope Foundation is a program that seeks to raise awareness of the Safe Haven law that was passed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and has been in effect since 2009. Its goals include raising awareness and funds to give newborns safe shelter and service throughout the nation so their parents have options without fear of legal implications. In 33 of the 50 states, 2,300 babies have been rescued since the law has been in effect.
The law essentially states a mother (or a responsible adult that she delegates) can leave her unharmed - unharmed meaning there should be no signs of physical abuse - baby, up to 30 days old, with any responsible adult at a suitable location without any legal repercussions. A baby can be taken to an emergency room, a manned fire station, doctor's office, or any place there are responsible adults to get further assistance for the baby.
People who bring the baby in need not give any information. They can say they cannot care for the baby and walk away without legal implications, unless evidence of abuse is found. The baby will be hospitalized, examined, given medical treatment if needed and Social Services will take custody. The baby will be turned over to Child Protective Services, where placement with a caregiver will be found. A "few days" are allowed for the mother to change her mind.
The local Court Catherine Esther No. 1264 will have posters with the basic information about the Safe Haven program posted at schools and at various agencies in the area. You can help too by passing the word about this program. Let's do what we can to save these babies and give these young women who think they have no alternative the chance to see that their babies will be taken care of without fear or repercussions.
The Safe Haven helpline is (888) 510-2229 and it provides one-on-one counseling and alternatives to those needing help. More information can also be found on the website www.nationalsafehaven.org.
Regent, Court Catherine Esther No. 1264
Catholic Daughters of the Americas