State Rep. Eric Leutheuser supports a package of bills that would help protect precious newborns surrendered to a “baby box” by their birth parents.
Under the House-passed bill, a hospital, fire station, or police station would have the option to install a newborn safety box as a safe alternative for a parent considering abandonment of their child.
The device is climate controlled to keep newborns safe and comfortable. Sensors are attached to notify emergency personnel within seconds of an infant being left.
“I’m pleased to co-sponsor and promote these bills,” said Leutheuser, of Hillsdale. “They complement and enhance Michigan’s existing safe haven laws. I’ve also been in touch with local individuals who are excited to voluntarily bring these to our area.”
More than 200 newborns have been surrendered in Michigan under the state’s existing safe delivery laws since 2001. Current law allows surrender to a public safety office, but does not account for the installation of a safe delivery box.
The bills outline box requirements to ensure newborns are surrendered safely and quickly to professionals. These include sanitation and manufacturing standards, and state that only emergency service providers may take immediate custody of the baby placed in the device.
House Bills 5750-5751, 5934 and 5954 passed the House this week and now advance to the Senate for consideration.