Advocates concerned Safe Haven Law isn’t reaching non-English speakers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Seymour Police Detective Sgt. C.J. Foster confirmed the abandoned baby found about 20 yards off the roadway in the 600 block of South Jackson Park Drive is Hispanic. He also said the neighborhood where she was found is home to many people who speak Spanish.

Linda Znachko, founder of He Knows Your Name, heard this news and called FOX59 to express her concerns the message of the Safe Haven Law and the Safe Haven Baby Boxes are not reaching a wider range of people, particularly those who speak Spanish.

The Latino Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, Inc. helped to translate the laws:

La Ley de Refugio Seguro de Indiana:

Un padre u otro adulto con custodia puede abandonar a un bebé menor de 45 días con un proveedor de servicios médicos de emergencia (hospitales, EMS, bomberos y agencias de aplicación de la ley). El secreto de la identidad de la madre está asegurado, y no será procesada por abandono o negligencia si actúa dentro de los 45 días posteriores al nacimiento, y el bebé no sufre daños (no hay evidencia de abuso o negligencia infantil).

Caja de Seguridad para Bebé de Safe Haven:

La Caja de Seguridad para Bebé es un dispositivo de seguridad previsto por la Ley Safe Haven del estado y legalmente permite que una madre en crisis entregue de forma segura y anónima a su recién nacido no deseado. Se instala una caja de seguridad para bebé en una pared exterior de una estación de bomberos o un hospital designado. Tiene una puerta exterior que se bloquea automáticamente al colocar un recién nacido dentro de la Caja de Seguridad para Bebé, y una puerta interior que permite que un miembro del personal médico asegure al recién nacido entregado dentro del edificio designado.

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Here is the message they translated:

The Indiana Safe Haven Law:

A parent or other custodial adult can abandon an infant under the age of 45 days with an emergency medical services provider (hospitals, EMS, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies). Secrecy of the identity of the mother is assured, and she will not be prosecuted for abandonment or neglect if she acts within 45 days of the birth, and the baby is not harmed (no evidence of child abuse or neglect).

Safe Haven Baby Boxes:

A Baby Box is a safety device provided for under state’s Safe Haven Law and legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender her unwanted newborn. A Baby Box is installed in an exterior wall of a designated fire station or hospital. It has an exterior door that automatically locks upon placement of a newborn inside the Baby Box, and an interior door which allows a medical staff member to secure the surrendered newborn from inside the designated building.

You can find out more here:

Znachko has adopted 20 babies in death and given them a name. One of them is Amelia Grace Hope whose body was found wrapped in towels and a blue sweatshirt on a cold afternoon on December 28, 2014.

"I named her that because it meant defender," Znachko explained. "And, I really felt like her name was going to stand for defending the Safe Haven Law in a whole new way."

Le puse ese nombre porque significa defensora. Sentí que su nombre iba a defender la Ley de Refugio Seguro de una nueva forma.

Znachko said Amelia's legacy was born the day she was found. "Baby Amelia, has brought awareness that we quite frankly didn't have in our state," Znachko said. "Because there was no money put behind awareness in education before her finding."

La bebé Amelia despertó la conciencia en nuestro estadoPorque no había dinero dedicado para diseminar recursos antes de su descubrimiento.

Znachko said the abandoned baby in Seymour is beginning a legacy of her own. "Now, the baby found in Seymour is ramping up even more by bringing us to an awareness that we now need to bridge the language barrier," Znachko said.

Ahora, la bebé que fue encontrada en Seymour está aumentando nuestra conciencia aún mas al hacernos entender que necesitamos superar las barreras del idioma.

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