3 ‘Safe Haven' Babies Left at Connecticut Hospitals

Three babies were brought to hospital emergency rooms and left behind by their parents in a span of six weeks earlier this year, according to state officials.

Under the state's "safe haven" law, parents can bring infants 30 days or younger to an emergency room and avoid prosecution for abandonment.

"We averaged anywhere from one a year, one to two year, to going to having three placed within such a short time frame. It’s just really very unusual,"  Michael Williams, deputy commissioner of the Department of Children and Families said.

Two infants were brought to hospitals on Jan. 9 and a third was left at a Westbrook hospital on Feb. 22.

One baby was brought to Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford at midnight on Jan. 9, another baby was brought to the Bradley Memorial Campus of the Hospital of Central Connecticut in Southington around 3 p.m. on Jan. 9 and a third Safe Haven baby was brought to Middlesex Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook around 5 p.m. on Feb. 22.

All of the babies are in healthy condition, but Williams said they’re scratching their heads as to why the three babies were given up in such a short period of time and said economic hardship, a difficult time with relationships or drugs could have been factors.

“We see a higher increase in the number of families that are coming to our attention due to the opiate epidemic, the heroin epidemic,” Williams said.

Officials from the Department of Children and Families said it takes only hours to place a newborn in a home and that's what happened with these three babies. 

State officials said the law enacted 15 years ago has potentially saved as many as 27 babies from abandonment.

The Department of Children and Families obtains custody of the babies and places them with families that are willing to adopt them. The agency also provides support to the baby's new family.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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