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Safe Haven Law Would Have Protected Infant Abandoned in Truck Bed

May 10th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
On Saturday, an abandoned baby boy was found in the bed of  a pickup truck in this apartment complex, 3 miles from the state Capitol. Authorities say the boy appeared to be about a week old.
We are told is well and being cared for at a local hospital.
Mike Watkins with Big Bend Community Based Care will take custody of the infant once he’s released.
“We average about 15 of these cases that are documented per year and that’s across the entire state. So it’s a pretty rare occurrence,” said Watkins.
Watkins said incidents like this are the reason why every state has adopted what are known as Safe Haven Laws.
Using his math, more than 250 infants have been safely dropped off since the law took effect in 2000.
“Whenever you have young persons that don’t have the information I think that’s our biggest challenge. That it’s going to be okay. That for the baby’s sake we want to give them every fighting chance,” Watkins.
Under the law, infants can be safely left at a hospital, police or even a fire station.
“Persons can do that anonymously without any criminal retribution. In this particular case the child was young, but obviously didn’t make it to one of those dedicated stops,” Watkins.
The infants dropped in safe zones are usually quickly adopted.
“There are loving people in our state, in our community, that will care for and love that child. That it’s going to be okay. That their life is not ruined,” said Watkins.
The Department of Children and Families says they don’t keep track of how many are infants are abandoned improperly.
The Tallahassee Police Department are currently investigating the case to identify who abandoned the baby in the truck. For more information about Florida Safe Haven Laws call 1-(888)-510-BABY.

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