A brief history on this law:
Georgia was one of the founding states to implement a Newborn Safe Haven Law. The law was first established in Texas as the "Baby Moses Law" in 1999. Since then, others like Georgia began their process of implementing a similar law into their own states. Georgia's "Safe Place for Newborns Act of 2002" was brought to the Georgia Capitol in 1998 by Former Georgia House Representative, Judy Manning. After four years the law was established in the year 2002, for the first time in Georgia.
Since the national establishment of these Newborn Safe Haven Laws, our country as a whole has been able to safely receive thousands of safe haven newborns. Unfortunately for Georgia, we have one of the most limited Newborn Safe Haven Laws in our country. The Hope Box is working diligently to bring awareness of the Georgia Safe Haven Law, the limited resources it provides, along with our proposed amendments to this law.
The Hope Box has worked with the Georgia State Capital and it's House Representatives and Senators to amend the current law. This law provides additional entities to operate under the law as well as an age extension for the newborns received.
Here are a few areas in which we where able to bring change:
• Extend the days allowed to use the safe haven law from 7 days to 30 days
• The mother no longer needs to have identification - leave if willing
• Include other locations:
In addition to providing education on resources, prevention, and safe options, we are also educating communities on what the current law in Georgia states regarding the legal avenue for infant abandonment.
Every state has their own specific set of safe haven laws. It is vital that our communities understand what their legal rights are for infant abandonment.