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Should Indiana promote Safe Haven signage?

Posted at 11:52 PM, Oct 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 23:52:52-04

It's been one week since an hours-old baby was found abandoned at a southeastern Indiana church.

Police are still looking for the child's mother, who could face charges for leaving her child at a place not covered by the state's Safe Haven Law.

"If she walked, as I say, knocked on the door of the church and handed the baby to the pastor's wife, that would have been a Safe Haven relinquishment," said Tim Jaccard, of Children of Hope and Baby Safe Haven.

But, Jaccard said, that's not what the mother did. The 8-pound baby boy was found wrapped in coats and abandoned at the side of Christ's Way Christian Church in North Vernon about 12 hours after he was born.

READPolice search for mother of newborn child abandoned at North Vernon church

In Indiana, state law allows parents up to 30 days to relinquish a child at a hospital, police or fire station or with a member of the clergy.

Save Haven signs cost about $50 each. Jaccard says many places that qualify don't want to pay for them, but doing so could mean the difference between life and death.

"If Indiana was to promote the signage program like most states have, the signs are actually placed," Jaccard said.

Since 1998, the program has saved 3,007 babies – 38 of them in Indiana.

Police said the mother of the North Vernon baby could be sick, as her child was found to have an infection. Anyone with information is asked to call North Vernon Police.