A Chance at Life: No one has to abandon a baby

A Chance at Life: No one has to abandon a baby
Source: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A few weeks ago, police officers in Georgia found a newborn baby wrapped inside of a plastic bag, abandoned in the woods. She now goes by the name of 'Baby India’ but her mother’s identity still remains a mystery.

GRAPHIC: Police release body cam of baby found in plastic bag in woods

In wake of the child’s discovery, Louisiana Attorney General, Jeff Landry, released this statement on Facebook, “If you find yourself with no other alternative and are considering abandoning your baby, Louisiana’s Safe Haven Law provides a safe place for your child. If you are unable to care for your baby and the baby’s well-being is in danger, you can bring the newborn up to 60 days old to an emergency designated facility or Safe Haven site. By leaving the baby in the care of an employee at a Safe Haven facility, parents can give up custody of the newborn with no questions asked.”

Landry also said parents are encouraged to use a “planned, permanent adoption through an adoption agency that accounts for medical and genetic history.”

According to Louisiana’s Safe Haven Law, you can leave your unharmed baby, up to 60 days old, with an employee at any medical facility, fire department, hospital, police department, emergency medical services provider, pregnancy crisis center, medical clinic, public health unit or child advocacy center.

What if you can’t get to a Safe Haven site? DCFS says you can call 911 and an emergency responder will come to you. Parents do not have to give their name or any other information, but can call 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437) to learn about their parental rights or anonymously give medical information about the baby for adoption purposes.

Source: Department of Children and Family Services
Source: Department of Children and Family Services

If you need help on deciding on where to take your baby, call the Safe Haven Hotline at (888) 510-BABY.

Once the child has been examined by a doctor, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services will take custody through Child Protective Services. The child will then be placed with a caregiver.

Source: The Department of Children and Family Services
Source: The Department of Children and Family Services

Doctors say Baby India is doing well. Right now, she’s in the care of Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services.

More than 1,000 people from around the world have come forward offering to adopt her.

List of Safe Haven locations in Shreveport - Bossier City:

Caddo Parish Fire District 6 10377 Linwood Avenue Shreveport, LA

Shreveport Fire Department #10 763 Oneonta Street Shreveport, LA

Shreveport Fire Department #19 9336 Ellerbe Rd. Shreveport, LA

Shreveport Fire Department #22 2022 Southern Loop Shreveport, LA

Shreveport Fire Department #9 7009 St. Vincent Avenue Shreveport, LA

Lifecare Hospitals of Shreveport 9320 Linwood Avenue Shreveport, LA

Brentwood Hospital 1006 Highland Avenue Shreveport, LA

Bossier City Fire Department 620 Benton Road Bossier City, LA

Bossier Parish Emergency Medical Services 5275 Swan Lake Road Bossier City, LA

Bossier Parish Emergency Medical Services Medic Five 5275 Swan LAke Rd. Bossier City, LA

Bossier City Fire Department 620 Benton Road Bossier City, LA

David Raines Community Health Center 1514 Doctor Drive Bossier City, LA

Willis-Knighton Bossier Health Center 2400 Hospital Dr. Bossier City, LA

Cornerstone Hospital of Bossier City 4900 Medical Drive Bossier City, LA

Red River Behavioral Center, LLC 2800 Melrose Avenue Bossier City, LA

To learn more about the Safe Haven program, call the National Safe Haven Alliance at (703) 339-8111.

Here’s a link to the Department of Children and Family Services’ interactive map that will allow you to add your zip code or city name to find Safe Haven locations in your area: www.louisianasafehaven.com

Source: Department of Children and Family Services
Source: Department of Children and Family Services

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