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How safe baby haven laws work in Arizona

Posted at 9:13 PM, Nov 13, 2019

TUCSON, Ariz. — An advocacy group was in Tucson Wednesday evening spreading information about how safe baby haven laws work in the state.

Arizona Safe Baby Haven foundation is dedicated to educating people about the federal and state safe haven laws that allow parents to give up their babies within the first 72 hours of life.

The law here in Arizona says that a person can't face charges for handing their newborn baby to officials at a safe haven location. The baby must be younger than three days old, and be unharmed. Parents must also physically give the baby to a person on duty, they aren't allowed to leave the baby unattended at a safe haven location.

Staffed fire stations and hospitals are always safe haven locations. Private child welfare agencies, adoption agencies, and churches can also opt-in to being a safe haven location.

Wednesday's presentation was given by a woman who said those laws can seem complicated sometimes.

Christina Fugate told the story of being with a person who dropped a baby off under safe haven laws and had the police called on her.

Fugate said her mission is to make sure more people know exactly how the laws work and what to do in time of a crisis.

"We want girls to feel confident," Fugate said. " It's a very scary decision that isn't easy to make, and I really want to make sure that within our community, our hospitals, our fire departments, that they're aware of what that looks like and how to approach a girl in that situation."

More information is available on the Department of Child Safety website.