Legislators, hospital spotlight Safe Haven law to save infants

MILFORD >> State Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, and state Reps. Kim Rose, D-Milford, and Charles Ferraro, R-Milford, joined Milford Hospital officials to remind Connecticut residents of the state’s Safe Haven law.

Since its passage in 2000, the law has saved more than two dozen infants.

In a recent six-week period, three infants in the state were saved from abandonment when their parents invoked the law, which allows anyone to drop off an infant, 30 days old or younger, at any Connecticut emergency room.

Two babies were safely dropped off in a single day, Jan. 9; one in Hartford and another in Southington, and on Feb. 22, one was dropped off in Middletown.

“Distressed parents of newborns need to know that in their time of crisis, this option is available to them,” said Slossberg.

“Establishing hospital emergency rooms as safe havens has saved the lives of dozens of newborn babies, and their parents who avoided making a decision that would haunt them for the rest of their lives and potentially land them in jail. This law works, but only if people know about it. That is why I supported the establishment of Safe Haven Awareness Day,” Slossberg said.

The law has saved dozens of children, but not everyone knows about it, which has resulted four babies found abandoned since it was enacted.

Last year, the General Assembly passed legislation creating annual Connecticut Safe Haven Awareness Day on April 4, and efforts to educate the public may be having the desired results.

“I am pleased to join my colleagues, Milford Hospital, and other hospitals across the state to recognize the importance of spreading awareness of the Safe Haven law and how it can save innocent babies,” Rose said.

“This initiative gives parents who can’t care for a newborn another alternative as they face difficult challenges,” Rose said.

According to Ferraro, “by designating April 4 as Safe Haven Day, Connecticut will go a long way in helping to spread information on the current law, and help make sure the next generation of mothers are aware of this potentially life-saving protection.”

“Establishing this day as Safe Haven Day will remind mothers each year that they do not have to abandon their child in a hopeless situation. I was proud to support this legislation last year, we hope to prevent as many infant abandonments and deaths as possible,” Ferraro said.

“Milford Hospital supports the state of Connecticut’s efforts to promote and increase awareness regarding the Safe Haven law,” said Joseph Pelaccia, president and CEO of Milford Hospital.

“A difficult situation does not need to become a tragedy. It is our hope that any parent, who is unable or unwilling to care for their baby, knows that a safe alternative exists through this law.

“Our Emergency Department staff is ready and committed to caring for the distressed family and their infant in a compassionate manner. Through the Safe Haven law, Milford Hospital and all Connecticut hospitals, have the ability to prevent tragic situations,” Pelaccia said.