Baby Moses

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Wylie Fire Rescue is a designated Safe Baby Site, an emergency infant care provider where staff is prepared to meet the needs of a newborn child. The Baby Moses Law provides a means for those who find themselves unable to parent but wish to leave their baby where he or she will be cared for.

What is the Baby Moses Law?
The Baby Moses Law is the common name of a law authorizing a designated emergency infant care provider to take possession of a child appearing to be 60 days old or younger from the child’s parent if the parent does not express intent to return for the child. You can find this law in the Texas Family Code, Chapter 262, Subchapter D. Emergency Possession of Certain Abandoned Children.

What are the purposes of this law?
One purpose of the law is to encourage parents considering abandoning their children to do so with a designated emergency infant care provider rather than at a dangerous location. The law also protects parents from criminal prosecution when they deliver an unharmed child to a designated emergency infant care provider.

How does the law work?
Any parent may voluntarily deliver a child 60 days old or younger to a designated emergency infant care provider when the parent does not express intent to return for the child.

What is a designated emergency infant care provider?
Under House Bill 706, which went into effect on Sept. 1, 2001, a child-placing agency (CPA) licensed by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) can be a designated emergency infant care provider if the CPA agrees to act as a designated emergency infant care provider and has on staff a person who is licensed as a registered nurse under Chapter 301, Occupations Code, or who provides emergency medical services under Chapter 773, Health and Safety Code, and who will examine and provide emergency medical services to a child taken into possession by the agency.

What if my family has medical problems?
When you place your child in the custody of the firefighters, we may offer you a voluntary health form to fill out. You do not have to provide your name or any information that you do not wish to share. It won't be necessary to fill it out that day; the packet has a self-addressed, stamped envelope, so you may mail it at your convenience.

Where do I need to take my baby?
You may take your baby to any hospital, fire rescue station, or emergency medical technician (EMT) in the state of Texas. Please remember that, in order to ensure your baby's safety, it is very important to give your baby to a person working at one of these facilities. Staff members usually have some form of visible identification. Tell the person that you want to leave your baby at the Safe Baby Site.

How long can I wait before I take my baby?
You can take your baby up to 60 days old.

What will they ask me?
The people at the Safe Baby Site where you choose to leave your baby may provide you with a voluntary form to fill out that is used to provide medical information for your child. This is not an attempt to try to find out who you are; the information will be put in your baby’s records to help answer health questions in the future.

The Safe Baby Site may offer you some referrals and help lines in case you want to speak with someone about what you  have been through.

Is it true that the police will not be called?
The police will not be called if your unharmed baby (60 days old or younger) is brought to a hospital, fire station or EMS station and given to a person who works there. If you leave your unharmed baby at a hospital, fire station or with an EMT, you will not be prosecuted for abandonment or neglect.

What happens to my baby?
If you leave your baby at a fire station or with an EMT, they will give the baby immediate medical care and then transport the baby to the closest appropriate hospital. The hospital will take care of any additional medical needs that your baby may have. The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (TDPRS) will then take custody of your child. After the legal responsibilities are fulfilled by TDPRS, your baby will be placed with a caring family.

Why must the baby be 60 days old or younger?
The intent of the Baby Moses Law is to provide a responsible alternative to desperate mothers. The first days of a newborn's life are the most critical and most likely the time that immediate medical attention is required.

I have other questions; where do I look for information?
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

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