BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s social services agency is offering a round-the-clock hotline for parents who are considering giving up their baby through the state’s “safe haven” law.
The Department of Children and Family Services is partnering with the National Safe Haven Alliance to provide the hotline, which is staffed by nurses and social workers with expertise in the requirements of Louisiana’s law. They will walk callers through their options of parenting, adoption or relinquishment of the baby.
State lawmakers passed Louisiana’s safe haven law in 2000, aiming to combat child abandonment by giving parents a way to legally give up a newborn baby.
The law allows people to hand over children up to 60 days old to an employee at a designated emergency care facility, such as a licensed hospital, public health unit or fire or police station. Parents also can call 911 and seek to relinquish the baby to an emergency responder.
The hotline is available by calling 1-888-510-BABY or texting SAFEHAVEN to 313131. The Department of Children and Family Services says calls are confidential.