Officials: Safe Haven laws help save children

TULSA, Okla. — Quick Facts:

  • An hours-old baby was dropped off at an urgent care center
  • DHS is supervising the infant
  • Officials say safe haven laws protect infants

After a woman left a newborn baby at a midtown urgent care center, officials with the Tulsa police Child Crisis Unit shared how helpful Safe Haven laws can be.

The child left behind is now under DHS supervision. He was brought into the center by a woman who said she was homeless and could not care for the baby.

Officials said Safe Haven laws keep children their parents cannot care for from becoming the 1 in 14 Oklahoma children involved in an investigation.

Under Oklahoma’s Safe Haven Law, a child up to three days old may be left with an employee on duty at any medical facility, hospital, fire station, police station or child welfare agency in Oklahoma.

Those areas are marked with signs saying they are a “Safe Place”.

TPD officials said sometimes unwanted infants are left in dangerous situations. With cold weather across Green Country, one official told FOX23 he was grateful the mother in this case went to a safe place.

“A young child left out this weekend, if [the child] wasn’t found in a few hours, may very well die,” the official said.

An infant girl in Chicago died in a similar situation earlier in November.

The child left at the urgent care center was reported in perfect health.