The Statewide Network Saved Four Babies in 2020
The life of another vulnerable, innocent infant was spared last month when the child was surrendered to one of the state’s Safe Haven sites.
Sen. Anthony M. Bucco hailed New Jersey’s Safe Haven program for rescuing another newborn baby in December. It was the fourth time in 2020 that Safe Haven provided a lifeline for a New Jersey infant. (NJSafeHaven.org)
“During the holiday season, this was a Christmas miracle in real life,” said Senator Anthony M. Bucco, a long-time advocate for the compassionate program and sponsor of a law requiring public schools to provide instruction and promote awareness about the New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act.
The rescue was the fourth infant saved this year, and the 78th since the program became law in August 2000.
“I am elated that the Safe Haven network that my late father championed continues to save lives even after his passing,” said Bucco (R-25). “Every time another baby is saved, it is a reminder that our good deeds can continue to make a difference in the world after we are gone.”
The Safe Haven Act, sponsored by then-Senator Anthony R. Bucco, was introduced to combat a growing trend in infant abandonments. The program allows a distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for a baby less than 30 days old to safely, lawfully and anonymously surrender custody of the child at a hospital emergency room, or police, fire or ambulance station that is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Immediately after a surrender, New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families begins working to place the infant into the pre-adoption process or foster care.
“Fortunately, the parents of another baby found the strength to help themselves and their child, and utilized the Safe Haven option,” said Bucco. “This program saves lives. Parents should know that if they feel they can’t keep an infant safe, there are options.”
Bucco sponsored legislation signed into law in August 2019 that ensures all New Jersey high school students are taught about the Safe Haven Protection Act.
In September, high schools in the state began instructing students about the program in health and physical education classes, and an ongoing statewide awareness campaign aimed at young women between the ages 13 and 30 has been launched.
Every city and town in New Jersey has at least one Safe Haven site, Bucco noted.
To learn more about the Safe Haven program or for a list of drop-off sites, visit www.njsafehaven.org.
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