PHOENIXVILLE - Parents of newborns have another option to raising a baby.
According to the Newborn Protection Act of 2002, a parent of a child younger than 28 days old may find Safe Haven and leave the child in the care of a hospital.
"There is a safe place to leave a baby if you are feeling helpless," said Tina Heychert, nurse manager of maternity at Phoenixville Hospital. "Too many children were unintentionally harmed by young mothers without knowing what to do or who felt helpless."
"A person would not be asked questions about their name or identity," said Heychert, "but would be asked general questions about their health and the baby's health."
Questions asked by Phoenixville Hospital or any other Pennsylvania hospital staff would be about the time of birth, any complications with the pregnancy, any past medical history that the mother may have and any information needed for the care of the baby.
"It's anonymous - a baby can be left anywhere in the facility but they need to have contact with a member of the hospital staff," said Heychert.
A physician will then examine the child and any care required for the mother will be offered. Care for the child will be provided by the hospital's experienced nurses of the maternity pavilion.
The Department of Children, Youth and Families will then be contacted and the option of providing foster care will be considered as long as the baby is healthy.
Phoenixville Hospital is able to care for babies that are 32 weeks or greater gestation or length of pregnancy. Younger, and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will provide for the child.
Since Safe Haven is an anonymous program. Staff at Phoenixville Hospital were not be able to release any information concerning whether infants have been left at the facility.
A child would immediately be eligible for Medicare.
The Newborn Protection Act calls for hospitals to become Safe Haven's if a parent expresses orally, or through conduct, that they intend for the hospital to accept the child and that the newborn is not a victim of child abuse or criminal conduct.
For Safe Haven call 1-866-921-SAFE (7233).