Mo. Bill Allows More Time to Give Up Newborns
JEFFERSON CITY - Parents could give up their babies without legal consequences up to 45 days after birth under a bill sent to Gov. Jay Nixon.
Under current law, parents have five days to leave their babies with medical professionals, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or law enforcement officers without repercussions. The bill passed Friday adds pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes to that list and significantly lengths the drop-off period.
Supporters say extending the "safe harbor" period would prevent child abuse. But the Senate's only physician objected to a provision allowing parents to not disclose identifying information about themselves or the child. Sen. Rob Schaaf, of St. Joseph, said knowing a child's family history could be necessary in providing future medical care.
The House passed the measure 138-14. The Senate passed it 30-2.