Beginning Thursday, a parent can use Louisiana's safe haven law to relinquish a baby up until they're two months old. Previously, the age limit was set at 30 days.
Under the law, parents who are unable to care for a newborn can leave the child at any designated facility instead of abandoning the child in an unsafe environment. Louisiana's designated facilities include any licensed hospital, public health unit, emergency medical service provider, medical clinic, fire or police station, pregnancy crisis center or child advocacy center.
A parent wishing to reclaim custody has 30 days after relinquishing the child to contact the state.
Since 2004, 28 infants have been relinquished in Louisiana with the Safe Haven law, including one in the Shreveport area.
According to the National Safe Haven Alliance, all 50 states have some form of Safe Haven law. For more information about the law, call 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373) or visit www.LouisianaSafeHaven.com.