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A law enacted by the Florida State Legislature in order to protect the welfare of newborns whose parents would otherwise dump them in a trash can, or some other unthinkable act.

The act is interesting in that it gives parents the right to drop a newborn off at either a hospital or fire station without question or fear of punishment. They can even remain anonymous, as long as the following conditions have been met:

  • The child is no more than three days old at the time the child is dropped off
  • No abuse is suspected

The parent has the right to reclaim the child if they make their claim before the courts strip them of their parental rights. The assumption is made in the law that any parent who would drop their child off doesn't want those rights any more, so the claim has to be a proactive move from the parents.

This law is fascinating to me because I feel it shows someone actually thinking ahead. Just this past week, we had a young mother who carried her baby full-term, and figured no one would notice after she gave birth if she just put the baby in a bag, tied it shut, and put it in a garbage can outside. 17 hours later a neighbor happened to hear a strange noise coming from the garbage can, opened it, and found this baby - still alive. It didn't take police long to track down the mother, arrest her, and charge her with attempted first-degree murder. If only she would have known about this law the baby would have not gone though that ordeal, and the mom would have her freedom.

Source: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/laws/00laws/ch_2000-188.pdf

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