Bill introduced to allow Safe Haven boxes in Kansas

A new bill introduced in the Kansas House would allow parents to surrender newborns in Safe Haven baby boxes.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 1:12 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A new bill introduced in the Kansas House would allow parents to surrender newborns in Safe Haven baby boxes.

On Thursday, Jan. 12, the Joint Committee on Child Welfare System Oversight introduced a bill in the Kansas House that would expand the legal surrender of a baby to include infant refuge bassinets - or Safe Haven boxes.

A hearing was held for House Bill 2024 in the Committee on Child Welfare and Foster Care on Monday, Jan. 23. It sits in the committee awaiting further discussion.

The legislation would allow for “infant refuge bassinets” to be installed in emergency facilities that are staffed 24 hours a day in an area visible to employees and is equipped with an automatic lock, is temperature-controlled and has an alarm system.

According to the bill, infants would be required to be 60 days old or younger to be surrendered. They must also have not suffered any bodily harm Employees would not be able to identify the parents of the surrendered child unless those requirements are not met.

The legislation also allows relinquishing parents a grace period of 30 days to re-establish parentage.

Similar legislation has already been passed in Missouri and Safe Haven boxes have already been installed in 8 other states.

The bill is still in its early stages. A vote is expected later this session.

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.