43 babies given up under Washington's safe haven law

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Records show dozens of babies were surrendered to Child Protective Services from 2009 to 2016 under a Washington state law that allows parents to turn their newborns over to protective care at hospitals and fire stations.

The News Tribune reports that 34 of the 43 babies relinquished under the "safe haven" law during that time were left at hospitals.

The law, enacted in 2002, only applies to children up to three days old.

Officials say a woman charged with abandoning her 5-month-baby on a Lakewood lawn last week while high on methamphetamine could have turned to authorities for help with the child in other ways.

A state hotline, 866-END-HARM, helps connect troubled parents with CPS, which can then provide them with counseling for mental health or substance abuse issues.

© 2017 Associated Press


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