LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) - One day after a baby was found lifeless in a cooler in Troup County, officials are hoping to remind and educate people about a law meant to protect infants in the state of Georgia.
While all the details from the Boy Scout Road case are not known, authorities say the case is sparking a much-needed conversation.
“A mother can bring her newborn child to the police department, and that child will be turned over to a sworn officer who will escort the child to a local medical facility for a full medical evaluation. No questions asked of the mother,” said Senior 1st Class Detective at the Lagrange Police Department, Ley Wynne.
Wynne is describing is Georgia’s Safe Haven Law.
The law allows a mother 30 days from birth to leave the infant at any hospital, a police station, fire station or even certain churches.
As long as the baby has not been abused, the mother does not have to worry about arrest or prosecution.
Outside of the police department and several other locations in LaGrange, a “safe place” sign is posted, but officials say it often goes unnoticed.
It is this sign, though, they hope will change the course of someone’s life.
“I feel like it’s better than abandoning your child and not taking care of it. There are people who can’t have kids and would love to take care of a baby,” said LaGrange resident Casey Ranson.
Police and child advocates say birth parents who are unable to care for a newborn have a number of safe options, and it is important to ask for help.
A child surrendered under the law will be placed with Child Protective Services.
State-wide petitions have been started to hopefully expand the law, protecting children under the age of three.