Safe Haven Not Effective Says Health Official

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Georgia’s safe haven law is intended to save unwanted infants from abandonment but one health official says it may not work. According to Dr. Jack Birge, of the Carroll County, Ga., health board, a condition requiring parents to disclose personal information like their name, address and social security number before turning over their child is discouraging many from participating.

“I think those are the circumstances that render the law potentially ineffective,” Birge told the Times-Georgian.

The safe haven law allows parents to turn their newborn over to employees at hospitals and other medical facilities, without fear of prosecution. In Carroll County, no children have been turned over to officials in the last three years, however there were two children abandoned during that time, according to the Times-Georgian.

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