ARKANSAS (KFSM) — Unwanted newborn babies may become better protected in Arkansas after the state's Safe Haven Law, enacted in 2001, was amended this year.
The law's purpose is to better protect babies from being hurt or killed by abandonment. It allows any parent to place their baby in the hands of authorities, unharmed, no questions asked, with no penalty.
Hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and now all staffed fire departments are Safe Surrender sites.
With the amended law also comes authorizations of Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Arkansas.
Instead of a parent having to physically hand over their child to authorities, they can go to a box, open it, place the baby inside, and the box immediately alerts the surrender site.
"The firemen come and pick the baby up, EMS is called in, they check the baby out and they go through the normal processes for adoption," Lloyd Cambre with Knights of Columbus said.
The average time a baby stays inside the box is less than two and a half minutes.
The first safe haven box in Arkansas is expected to be installed sometime this year.