PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)- The Children’s Home Association of Illinois partnered with OSF Healthcare to host their first educational seminar of the Safe Haven Law on Friday, October 27th.
Healthcare workers, first responders, and child-care workers gathered at OSF’s Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center to learn about the Illinois specifications of the nationwide Safe Haven Law. This law is providing a last resort option for families in crisis to be able to relinquish their newborns, no questions asked.
The child must be handed directly to a staff member at any hospital, fire department, or police department, unharmed, and within thirty days of birth. The parent relinquishing the infant will be given the option to provide the medical history of their baby and write the baby a letter.
The infant will be given to directly to an adoption agency, where it will find its new home in a matter of days. Illinois is one of the few states with the Safe Haven Law that does not place the infant into foster care.
“The law works when it’s used appropriately, but a lot of people just don’t know that the law exists.” Jennifer Rousseau, Associate Professor of Rush University College of Nursing, speaks on the importance of today’s seminar. “It is typically a parent in crisis who may have delivered her own baby, which is a traumatic event as you can imagine, and then they have typically hidden their pregnancy, are fearful, maybe have a dire economic situation, and they just feel like they’re in crisis.”
Anni Reinking, Director of Prevention Services for the Children’s Home Association of Illinois, want to provide families in crisis with as many options as possible. “It really falls under the UNSS, the Universal Newborn Support System, and this is just one more kind of system that we have in place that can really help impact information and choices that we can give to families. Especially, with families who are experiencing hard times, or trauma, or just feel like they’re not in a place in their life where they can raise a healthy baby.”