"Safe Haven" law
11:02 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Mo. lawmaker backs expansion of 'Safe Haven' law

A Missouri lawmaker says parents of newborns should get more time to decide whether they want to surrender their baby to the state.

State law allows a parent to leave their a child at a hospital, fire station or police station within five days of the child's birth.

Rep. Kevin McManus, a Kansas City Democrat, is sponsoring legislation that would give parents up to 60 days to safely surrender a newborn.

McManus says the current five-day period does not give some young parents enough time to figure out whether they can support a child. He says the current law could motivate those young parents to abandon their newborns in dangerous places.

According to the state Department of Social Services, 31 newborns have been surrendered under the law since 2005.