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Safe Haven Law in Newborn Death Case Never Used

Published On: Oct 29 2013 10:20:29 AM AKDT


24-year-old Ashley Ard made her first court appearance in Anchorage Jail Court since being charged with second degree murder. (Oct. 26, 2013)


A 2008 law that lets parents surrender newborn children at places like hospitals and fire stations, no questions asked, has never been used.

The law has gained renewed attention with the arrest of Army Spc. Ashley Ard, who faces second-degree murder charges after Anchorage police say she left her baby at an Eagle River park, about a mile from a fire station.

Christy Lawton is director of Alaska's Office of Children's Services.

She told the Anchorage Daily News the Safe Surrender For Infants Act was meant to offer desperate mothers a way out.

It allows parents to bring newborns to hospitals, fire stations, emergency medical service providers or police up to 21 days after birth.

Ard recently moved to Alaska and little is publicly known about her circumstances prior to giving birth.