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Texas law allows parents to legally relinquish newborn babies, usually without prosecution. Babies must be unharmed, 60 days old or younger and taken to a Safe Baby Site. Sites may be identified by signs posted near major entrances.
Safe Baby Sites, including hospitals, fire stations and licensed child-placement agencies, must have a registered nurse or emergency medical technician on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The criteria for being a Safe Baby Site are strict because the majority of mothers who relinquish babies have received limited prenatal care, and the baby may need immediate medical care.After the baby has been examined and necessary medical care administered, a standard set of lab tests and newborn treatments are provided. The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services assumes care, control and custody of the baby
The Baby Moses Project, under the auspices of the Baby Moses Foundation, is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of newborn infants and providing protection from prosecution for parents who choose a responsible alternative to abandonment.The project’s name is taken from the Biblical story of Moses. As an infant, the prophet was placed in a basket in a river and was watched by an anonymous protector until he was rescued.Safe baby legislation and creation of the Baby Moses Project are the result of efforts by Texas Rep. Geanie W. Morrison of Victoria and John Richardson, M.D., a pediatrician with Cook Children’s Physician Network. Dr. Richardson learned about safe shelter programs for babies of mothers in crisis from the National Council for Adoption.Tarrant County was the first area in Texas to launch the safe baby initiative. The Baby Moses Coalition worked with area hospitals and fire departments to write policies and procedures. For immediate help in Tarrant County, Texas, call First Call for Help at 817-258-8100.
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