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Missouri Safe Haven Law Changes

"Safe Haven" Law Changes in Missouri

It can be difficult to imagine what circumstances would push a woman to willingly give up a baby, but Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a law extending the period of time after birth in which parents can give up their babies without facing legal consequences, KSPR-TV reports.

Every state has a "Safe Haven" law, allowing parents to legally surrender their infants to a police station, fire station, EMS personnel, or hospital after birth for a certain period of time, typically ranging from 5 to 30 days. By extending the period to 45 days, Gov. Nixon hopes to give parents more time to consider their options and protect the wellbeing of their babies.

Some women may not want to have an abortion, but they may not feel like they are equipped to raise a child, explains Terry Malesky of the Pregnancy Care Center. Thus, she and other workers in the childcare field are excited that the law now gives parents more time to ensure newborns are safe and loved.


"It's got to be hard for someone to say I'm at this point where I've just got to take this baby somewhere," Malesky says.

Join The Conversation
KizzyNicholas KizzyNicholas 4 years
I am happy for these laws but their must be a limit of time. On should not be allowed to drop of a teen or older child because they are misbehaving or troubled. That is call parenting. We don't get to keep the easy children. I agree that infants could be dropped off if a woman realizes quickly she can't do this but after a point the damage done to the child is overwhelming and the mother is being selfish. Getting rid of a child because he ran way, excuse me but what is going on in the home? Parenting is lifelong once you decide to keep a child for better or for worse.
tiffanyshank tiffanyshank 4 years
why cant people make their own decisions without all the negativity? what is right for one person isnt right for another. sometimes birth control fails. no BC except abstinence is 100% guaranteed to work. not everyone wants to be a mom or is capable of being a mom. let those women live their own life without being judged. only god should judge and that is the way it should be. keep your negativity to yourself instead of making other people feel badly about themselves. oh and by the way im 23 and have a 15 month old son that i love more than life itself. he is the only child i have ever had but while on BC i got pregnant and had a miscarriage.
virginiasears virginiasears 4 years
This is a nice picture and concept but who is going to support this child if the mother is teen? Or a person who raped or gang raped and don't want this child. If the mother is homeless or in prison. Why would you force a women to bring a unwanted child this world to be on welfare, in the streets or prison .
BreannJohnston BreannJohnston 4 years
I agree with margueritefrazier when they said "how about birth control"? There are so many forms of birth control out there for anyone to need to give a baby up for adoption. Most (if not all) states offer just about any kind of birth control out there for free to women with low income. With that being said, I agree with CoMMember13631152377518. You have a very good point about society making adoption an easy option to supply the demand, rather than embracing motherhood. To all of you that say this is a good way for young mothers to "move on with their life", this statement makes me cringe. Move on with their lives? They should move on with their lives... with the baby they created. No, some women shouldn't be mothers, but some of these women would be great mothers if they just gave it a try. I think the ladies that are responsible enough to give up their babies would be responsible enough to take care of them. I was a teen mom. I am 24 years old and my son will be seven soon. I didn't want to "move on with my life" without him... I wanted to move on with my life with him right beside me. I have given my son a great life and have no regrets about being a young mother. My advice to young women, use birth control, but if that doesn't happen/work, think about the life you could give your child, rather than thinking about what you couldn't give your child. About the law, it is a good law because these babies might be hurt or killed if not for this law... but c'mon society, encourage motherhood, not abandonment. :D
dannicahoskison dannicahoskison 4 years
This is WONDERFUL!!!
margueritefrazier margueritefrazier 4 years
How about birth control
CoMMember13631189244843 CoMMember13631189244843 4 years
As to the comment about having to abandon a child, there is exception. My brother and his wife adopted an infant through an open adoption, where the mother was allowed as much contact as she wanted, yet was able to not be responsible for the baby and finish school, move on with her life, etc. She attended all the child's special occasions, even staying in my brother's home. My pastor was adopted when she was a day old, and when she was 19, she gave up a boy for adoption, also being allowed to see the child whenever she wanted to. She proudly has pictures of his college graduation last year, and sees him regularly. I would hardly call this process abandonment. I think the child and the mother come out ahead. And while we read of success stories, it is not statistically the norm for the bio mom to graduate from college and go on successfully. My niece always felt that her bio mom gave her up because she loved her, and wanted more for her.
CoMMember13631189244843 CoMMember13631189244843 4 years
This is a wise law, intended to protect the innocent and allow mothers, usually young, to move on with their lives. This gives the infant the best possible chance, if the mother is truly doubting her abilities, and is so young and overwhelmed that she needs a second chance. Every state should extend the time frame.
AnnaGlendenning AnnaGlendenning 4 years
I think this is a step forward. I believe there is a good possibility 45 days might work both ways. During the first 30 days a new mother may feel overwhelmed maybe this will give her a few extra days to think things through a little more.
TracyStuart TracyStuart 4 years
I was living in Nebraska when they enacted their safe haven laws. They worded it so that any "child" can be dropped off. Under Nebraska law, a child is anyone under the age of 19. In the first few months after the law was enacted, several "children" were dropped off - all in their teens. The state had to revisit their wording. However, one thing this "oops" highlighted was a loophole that parents fall into when they have no further resources for dealing with troubled teenagers. At some point, parents are just told there isn't anything else available to help them when their kids are having problems but the parents are told they are still responsible for anything the child does. I've known several people over my lifetime that have fallen into this trap. When I was growing up, the kid across the street from me hated living at his house. He would become violent, break things, and then run away. Each time the police would find him (breaking curfew or other run ins with the police) and bring him home. His mom had two smaller children in the house and would say she can't have him back and he doesn't want to be here anyway. She was told she HAD to take him back and was responsible for anything he did even after running away. Both child and parent were stuck with each other but couldn't stand living together. They had no alternatives at all.
CoMMember13631152377518 CoMMember13631152377518 4 years
How about a society that embraces motherhood and the mother/child connection so that a young, vulnerable mother doesn't feel "shamed" to ask for help, without being convinced or given the option to abandon her child? The adoption industry is based on supply/demand and babies end up becoming commodities for couples willing to pay. We need to make sure babies and mothers aren't unneedlessly separated due to hardship, because of the NEED for more babies available for adoption. Babies grow up and deserve to at least know their biological identity and roots. There is too much room for coercion, unethical practices and fraud because of the business of adoption. Let's look at Australia for model adoption reform.
ChristinaCordero ChristinaCordero 4 years
well put AndreaLaRose! Agree 100%!
NicolaMartin24659 NicolaMartin24659 4 years
Great to hear that ! Well done Missouri Govt for giving compassion to women experiencing severe hardship !
AndreaLaRose AndreaLaRose 4 years
I feel there shouldn't be a time frame it should be in place at any given time a parent feels they can not raise there child and have a safe place to give them regardless of how old they are maybe then less mothers would feel the need to hurt or kill them if they had a place to give them without consiquence
YvonneHughes YvonneHughes 4 years
I can not imagine the hardship someone would have to endure giving up their baby. Must be hard to do and well done for them wanting a better life for that child.
Pamela72540 Pamela72540 4 years
I feel so bad for these babies being given up, but at the same time I applaud these moms' bravery for admitting they can't give their child the care he or she needs. Now all we need is better adoption and foster care laws and we'll be set :)
karenwarden90607 karenwarden90607 4 years
That's awesome
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