The state Senate votes to give mothers more time to give away their child with no questions asked. It is okay under present law in Missouri for a new mother to take her child, within five days of its birth, to a police station or a medical facility, leave it with someone, and walk away. The Safe Haven law is intended to limit child abuse or even death at the hands of someone who doesn’t want the baby.
The Senate has voted to extend that give-up time to 45 days and allow the baby also to be taken to a pregnancy resource center. The parent would not have to identify herself or himself.
St. Joseph Senator Rob Schaaf, who is a doctor, argues that the parent should provide his or her name in case some medical issue arises later in life that requires knowledge of a family medical hsitory. But another senator worries that abuse, deaths, and abortions might increase if parents refuse to relinquish a child because their name would be kept in a state record.
The Senate has rejected Shaaf’s effort to get a record of that name and has sent the bill to the House.