Hoosiers are being reminded about Indiana’s Safe Haven law

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By Eric Levy

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 2, 2014) -- There's a new push to educate Hoosiers on Indiana's "Safe Haven" law, after a baby boy was left in a trash can, Friday.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officers arrested Briana Holland, 22, who, they say, gave birth to her son and left him a bathroom inside United Technology Carrier Corporation. The baby was found, and eventually rushed to Riley Hospital For Children where he's listed in good condition. Holland is charged with neglect.

In Indiana, the Safe Haven law allows a new mother, or a close family member, to essentially hand over a child no questions asked. The goal of this law is to prevent something similar to what happened, Friday. Aside from hospitals, you can go to police departments or even fire departments with no fear of prosecution.

"Our hope is that when they do that, that they make contact with the firefighter on station and are able to help provide them with critical information that they may need about the child," said Rita Reith, spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Fire Department.

Mothers aren't the only ones included in this law, a family member, social worker or even a minister can give up custody of a baby less than 30 days old. If there are no hints of abuse, you can just walk away.

"It is not our job to question why a child is being brought there, but it is our concern that the child is healthy and if in need of medical attention, that we're about to activate that," Reith said.

The State of Indiana says distressed parents can receive counseling and get addresses and directions for any hospital, fire station or police station by calling the Safe Haven Hotline, 1-877-796-HOPE (4673), or 2-1-1. Parents can learn more by visiting the National Safe Haven Alliance in Indiana website http://www.safehaven.tv.

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