Many state legislatures have enacted legislation to address infant abandonment and endangerment in response to a reported increase in the abandonment
of infants in unsafe locations, such as public restrooms or trash receptacles.
All 50 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have enacted infant safe haven laws that allow a parent to surrender a newborn without fear of prosecution. These laws vary in terms of where an infant can be surrendered.
Delaware is among 16 states that only permit a baby to be surrendered to a hospital. Twenty-five states allow surrenders at fire stations and 25 states permit surrenders to personnel at police stations or other law enforcement agencies.
Senate Bill 161 adds police stations to the Delaware law as a designated safe havens where an individual may surrender a baby. But, for reasons that are unclear, State Representative Larry Lambert added an Amendment that was passed that eliminated Delaware State Police Stations as a safe haven. So if you are going to surrender a baby in Delaware you better do it at a hospital or the County Police or Town Police stations.
The bill passed unanimously in both chambers.
|Senate Bill 161 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Pinkney, Hansen, Hocker, S.McBride, Sokola, Townsend||Senate Passed 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson|
|Lambert, Dorsey Walker, Baumbach, Collins, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Kowalko, Morrison, Postles||House Passed 41-0. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende Yearick|
|Current Status –||Sent to the Governor|