Since it was enacted in 2000, the "Safe Haven" law has saved 180 babies in Florida and given them a chance at life, despite dire circumstances.
"It is a way for the newborn to go on and have a life, and it is a safeguard for the parent that might be freaking out in the moment," said Vicki Hummer, clinical director of the Corbett Trauma Center.
SAFE HAVEN HOTLINE: 1-877-767-2229
The law states that a newborn -- a week or younger -- can be handed over to a hospital, emergency medical service center or fully staffed fire station. The parent won't be charged with abandonment and can remain anonymous.
In Pasco, Polk, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, 14 babies have been left in the care of safe havens since 2000. In all of Florida, there have been 16 babies left this year so far.
Four years ago, crews at Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Station 14 received an infant child from a young, scared mom. Officials there say it proves the system works, and shows good things can come out of bad situations.
"If you feel like you can't take care of a child, we'd rather take care of it and get it to someone who can take care for you rather than something bad happen," Dye said.
And no doubt for a parent, it's a difficult and lonely situation to be in. But experts say in the case of a last resort, it is the loving decision.
"Some of them have consequently written letters to biological parents saying 'Thank you' for making the loving decision," Hummer said.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.asafehavenfornewborns.com
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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