By Bob Katzen
Baby Safe Haven New England announced that the Bay State had zero baby abandonments in 2020. In 2004, the Legislature passed a law that allows a parent to legally surrender newborn infants seven days old or younger at a hospital, police station or manned fire station without facing criminal prosecution.
Before the law, there was an average of 3.2 newborn abandonments in the state per year, with half of them resulting in death. In the past eight years, there has only been one abandonment. The United States is averaging 100 deadly abandonments every 18 to 22 months.
The group says this best-in-the-nation record is totally attributed to its 100 percent youth-led awareness program and protocols. They noted that Massachusetts never uses “old faces, old voices, suits uniforms and podiums” to promote the law. “Baby Safe Haven New England has been led by young women, as young as 15, in doing every single awareness event,” reads a press release. “Those events not only included radio, television and print media appearances, and stories, Baby Safe Haven New England expanded out to sponsorship of teen/twenties-targeted concerts and music festivals. We now have the Baby Safe Haven Stage, with several concert level PA systems that are turnkey performance platforms for Baby Safe Haven events at almost any location.”
“It’s so important that we spokespeople continue making connections,” said Madelyn Paquette, spokeswoman for Baby Safe Haven New England. “Peer-to-peer is the most successful way to impact young people because it’s like an open conversation between friends, instead of older folks potentially coming off as lecturing. We can’t wait for concerts and porch fests to resume so we can spread our message through music again.”