Newborn found in box outside hospital brings attention to state’s safe haven laws

LEOMINSTER (WHDH) - Officials say a baby boy was found Wednesday night in a hospital parking lot in Leominster, drawing attention to the state’s Baby Save Haven law. It’s a law many are unaware of.

A nurse at UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital found the baby near her car around 6:30 p.m. The baby was wrapped in a blanket and left in on a box on the ground.

The baby was immediately taken inside and is said to be in stable condition.

A spokesperson says the hospital is a baby safe haven facility, which means that parents can surrender a newborn infant without fear of repercussions.

The hospital is working with the Department of Children and Families on finding the baby a home. But the shocking discovery has raised questions about the Massachusetts Baby Safe Haven Act.

“You are allowed to surrender your baby up to 7 days old in Massachusetts,” said Renee Marcou, of Baby Safe Haven.

Marcou says the key is the baby has to be given directly to a person for safety reasons. She says all states have some version of the law.

More than 30 infants have been surrendered in Massachusetts since the law took effect in 2004.

“What the Baby Safe Haven law allows is a woman to call the line before even going into a crisis,” Marcou said.

The Worcester District Attorney’s office says investigators are working to track down the child’s parents to learn more about her and the child.


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