House OKs devices parents can use to surrender newborns

May 17, 2018

  

Michigan's House has passed legislation that lets parents leave their newborns in secured boxes at hospitals, fire departments and police stations in addition to personally surrendering them to emergency services personnel and first responders.

Lawmakers approved the four-bill package Wednesday that amends the Safe Delivery of Newborns Law to allow for use of these baby boxes which the state Department of Health and Human Services would be tasked with regulating. The bill also redefines "newborn" as a child not older than 30 days.

Since 2000, the safe delivery law allows parents to legally surrender a newborn at a fire department, hospital or police station without being charged with child abandonment. The newborns are then placed into adoption programs. The bill now heads to the Michigan Senate.