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Iowa Safe Haven Laws

Posted: Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 6:25 am
Author: KCII News - Brad Gaspelin

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Medical Examiners have performed an autopsy on the twin babies that were abandoned in the trunk of a car in Huxley, Iowa, but they still aren’t sure why the two children were abandoned. The mother of the twins, Jackie Burkle, is accused of deliberately killing the two babies. Police haven’t asked her if she was aware of Iowa’s Safe Haven Laws, a set of laws that allow parents and others authorized by the parents to leave a child at a medical facility anytime before the baby is 14 days old with no legal repercussions.

Brandice Armstrong, the Director of the OBGYN Clinic of Washington County Hospital and Clinics, says they have information available for parents about the Safe Haven Law, and have a sign on their door identifying them as a Safe Haven Drop Off location.

She says the parents don’t have to give any information if they don’t want to, but the hospital requests that they give their names and the medical history of the child. She says that so far no one has used the Safe Haven Law to give a child to the Hospital in Washington.

Social workers in Iowa are now discussing ways of reaching more women with information about this law.