Pella Regional is a Safe Haven for Newborns

PELLA, Iowa— Pella Regional Health Center is reminding the public that Pella Regional is a safe haven for infants up to 30 days.

The Safe Haven Act allows parents, or another person who has the parent’s authorization, to leave an infant up to 30 days old at a hospital or other health care facility without the fear of arrest or going to court, according to the Iowa Department of Human Services. A health care facility is a residential care facility, a nursing facility, an intermediate care facility for persons with mental illness, or an intermediate care facility for persons with intellectual disability.

A parent is also allowed to contact 911 within 30 days of the infant’s birth and give up custody to the first responder of the 911 call. Infants who become safe haven babies are placed in approved foster care homes or with adoptive families.

If a parent, or another person who has the parent’s authorization, leaves an infant at a hospital or health care facility, they need to immediately call the facility or call 911 to be sure that:

  • A staff member is aware of the location of the newborn.
  • The facility knows a newborn has been left there under the Safe Haven Act.

Since the law was established in 2002, 37 babies in Iowa were handed over to the Department of Human Services using the state’s safe haven procedures.