NC's Safe Surrender Law Means Person-to-Person Exchanges Are Legal

5:08 AM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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Undated, NC -- Police in Colorado Springs, Colorado found a baby abandoned in an apartment complex dumpster. A neighbor called 911 before police discovered the baby girl. Emergency crews took her to the hospital. She's less than one month old.
There's no update on her condition.

Stories like this might make some people angry. Safe surrender laws were created to prevent situations like this. Parents can leave the baby at a hospital, or a fire station, or another safe place without prosecution?

But in North Carolina, an overwhelmed parent could also just give their baby to you? North Carolina's safe surrender law is a little different. Legally, it says a baby up to seven days old may be placed with any responsible adult, as long as the baby is unharmed. That means someone could walk up to you, hand you their baby, and walk away! And it's completely legal!

We asked the High Point Fire Department what a person should do if someone hands them a baby. Denita Lynch, the department's Public Information Officer, suggested you should try to get a little information. "We do ask if there is any info as far as the baby and any medical history they want to share, or any family history they want to share in regards to the baby, without giving any names or anything, just so that we when the baby is turned in to the proper authorities, if there is any family history or medical history, we can share that for the care of the baby."

We asked WFMY News 2 Facebook fans what they would do if someone handed them a baby and walked away. Surprisingly to us, more than 40 people said they would accept the baby and raise it as their own.

While it's encouraging to know many of you would be willing to help and raise a baby, we have to stress if it happens you should turn the baby over to the authorities.

WFMY News 2

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