Females who are experiencing unexpected or unwanted pregnancies can turn to Monongahela Valley Hospital as a Safe Haven for their babies. Under the Newborn Protection Act of 2003, any parent may leave a newborn baby in the care of the hospital without being criminally liable as long as the baby is no older than 28 days and is not harmed.
“Sometimes young women want to care for their unborn babies, but once the child arrives the responsibility is overwhelming and they find themselves in crisis situations and do not know where to turn,” said Brenda L. Walther, M.D., the hospital’s Chief of Emergency Medicine. “MVH is here to protect those babies and to give them the care that they need and deserve.”
As a Safe Haven, MVH will accept the baby without asking any questions. Parents will not be asked for any personal information and their identities will remain anonymous. At the hospital, the baby will be examined by a doctor in the emergency department, who will provide any necessary medical care. The local children and youth agency will take custody of the baby and find the infant a loving home.
Monongahela Valley Hospital displays a sign at the entrance to its emergency department indicating that the hospital is a Safe Haven. Babies may be brought to there or given to the guard at the front of the hospital 24/7.
For more information about Safe Haven of Pennsylvania, visit www.secretsafe.org.