Legislation sponsored by Senator Kristin M. Corrado that expands the Safe Haven Infant Protection Act to protect the lives of newborn babies was signed into law today by Governor Murphy.
"I'm proud that Governor Murphy signed this bill into law today. We've all seen reports that more newborns are being safely surrendered as awareness of the State's Safe Haven Law increases," said Corrado (R-40). "Although it is a difficult decision for any parent to give up their newborn, safe havens have provided an alternative for parents to drop-off infants rather than putting their child in harm's way. This legislation expands New Jersey's Safe Haven Law to provide parents with an additional life-saving option for their child after giving birth."
The Safe Haven Infant Protection Act allows parents to anonymously hand over a child that is up to thirty days old to a hospital emergency room, or first responder at a police, fire, or EMS station that is staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with no questions asked.
Senator Corrado's bill, S-2828/A-4110, amended the Safe Haven Infant Protection Act to also allow parents to voluntarily surrender their child to a hospital after giving birth. The bill clarifies that the law's new provision will protect parents from prosecution whether they surrender the child in the hospital after birth or leave the infant later at an acceptable drop-off location.
Hospital employees and staff who accept surrendered babies in good faith are also protected from prosecution under the amended law.
"Every adult and teen parent who feels unprepared to care for their newborn should be aware of life-saving options that are available for their infant child," Corrado added. "Giving parents more options to safely surrender their newborn after birth not only protects more infants from otherwise dangerous or deadly situations, but it also prevents parents from being prosecuted as well. I'm proud to see the enactment of this life-saving legislation."