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5:58 AM Sat, Sept. 22nd

Giving babies a safe place

People & Places: Parents with nowhere to turn can take a child to Safe Baby Haven

Carrie Barnes of Safe Baby Haven (Diane DeHamer/Review)

Carrie Barnes of Safe Baby Haven (Diane DeHamer/Review)

Poverty and teenage pregnancies are the most common reasons for child abandonment. Chino Valley has lowered its teen pregnancy rate to 13.47, which is below the state average of 21.2.

“Life Pregnancy Center and Word of Life church recognized that teens and young mothers faced with the reality of an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy and feeling overwhelmed by decisions that they have to make need a safe, compassionate alternative to abandoning a baby,” said Carrie Barnes, director of new ministry development at Word of Life.

In May of this year Word of Life Church in Chino Valley began offering the Safe Baby Haven, which is a safe place for newborn infants (up to 72 hours old) to be left when their parents or parent agent feel they cannot provide or care for the infant.

“We are just another venue besides the police and fire departments. People should know and understand that no abandonment or child abuse charges are made and no names have to be given. It is all done anonymously. After the baby is dropped off, we call Safe Baby Haven. The baby is checked out at a local hospital and eventually the child will be placed in a loving home,” Barnes explained.

“While some young women will go through the process of finding adoptive parents, others will be in denial and feel they need an immediate resolution to what appears to be a crisis in their life. Safe Baby Haven is a safe option to abandonment and criminal charges which will be with them the rest of their lives,” she added.

A representative of the pregnancy center or Word of Life can be called to meet you to pick up the infant, all anonymously.

“We are happy to partner with Safe Baby Haven to help these frightened parents and infants. A loving alternative to baby abandonment.”

Call Arizona Safe Baby Haven 866-707-BABY, or after hours, call 928-636-5025.