It’s only January 16, but already a record-breaking eight states have Safe Haven Baby Box bills in the hopper, and at least one more state is scheduled to drop a bill soon. We can expect more since not all states are in session yet.
The bills fall into four general categories:
- new legislation to legalize the installation and use of SHBB in the state
- amendments to existing SHBB laws to allow unstaffed fire stations, under certain conditions, to install boxes
- amendments to existing SH/SHBB laws to move custody procedures and adoption placement of SH/SHBB infants from appropriate state agencies to licensed private adoption agencies. Babies would only go into state custody if private agencies refuse to take the case. (Some states already do this or have the option to do it). The Indiana bill is the most egregious. It not only mandates private adoption agency placement but permits fire personnel to directly place infants left at fire stations with adoption agencies. The bill also exempts due diligence in SH/SHBB cases; that is, the state would be barred from performing search and reunification procedures in SH/SHBB cases as mandated in all other childwelfare cases.
- Extend the age that babies can be left at SH/SHBB locations
We will post Action Alerts so you can help us fight this epidemic of anti-adoptee legislation and aggression.
Also check out our State Pages for individual state news, testimony, and other material.
Now, take a deep breath and read our Legislation Page