Wyoming law provides an option for parents who are feeling too overwhelmed to care for their infant in the current COVID-19 crisis.
Ed Heimer, who’s field administrator with the state Department of Family Services, says Wyoming’s Safe Haven Law provides a safe, legal and responsible way for parents to find help with a baby they may be unable to care for safely.
Heimer said the law provides a parent of an infant 14 days of age or younger the legal ability to voluntarily, without repercussions, relinquish their parental rights so the child can be safely cared for and placed into an adoptive home.
He said the law allows the parent to relinquish the infant to a safe haven provider, which is defined as any fire station or police station that’s staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or any hospital with an open emergency room. Each provider must have staff on site with emergency medical training.
Heimer said relinquishing a child under guidance of the Safe Haven Law isn’t considered an act of abuse or neglect. He said while the parent is encouraged to provide as much medical information and history as possible to help with the baby’s future care, the process can be done in complete anonymity.
Those who want more information can contact their local Department of Family Services office. Contact information can be found online at www.dfs.wy.gov.