By: Kyle James | 10-26-2017 | News
Photo credit: KVUE

Baby Left In Dumpster Could Have Been Turned In Confidentially Under Texas Law

A newborn baby girl was found inside a dumpster in Austin Wednesday morning even though Texas has a Safe Haven Law. The Texas law allows a baby up to 60 days old to be turned in confidentially with an on duty staff member at any hospital, emergency infant care provider or child welfare agency.

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Witnesses who found the baby girl say she was left in a dumpster, she was born so recently her umbilical cord was still attached. Police responded to a call at an Austin apartment complex around 6:55 a.m. where the baby was found. She was taken to a local hospital but died. The death is all the more tragic considering the state law could have allowed for the parent to legally turn in the baby anonymously.

The staff at the care provider where an unwanted newborn is turned in cannot detain or pursue the parent unless the baby has obviously been abused. The care provider is not even legally obligated to determine the parents identity however some cases do allow the parent to be given a form to disclose the child's medical history voluntarily. Once a newborn is turned in, the law requires the care provider to notify the DPRS of the child and they are turned in to the department who will take custody of the child.

The DPRS must then notify the local and state law enforcement as a potential missing child. The DPRS will also reimburse the care provider who took in the infant and provided any treatment. Details about the Texas' Safe Haven law can be found here:

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