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Officials push new program to keep babies safe

Posted: 6:02 PM, Mar 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-16 23:27:05-04

It's been a week since a newborn baby girl, just hours old, was left in a Mesa front yard and now Arizona Safe Baby Haven is rolling out a new campaign they're calling "Mobile Safe Baby Havens."

The organization has partnered with the Mesa Fire Department to put yellow stickers on fire trucks and ambulances to remind soon-to-be parents that there are safe options when giving up a newborn child. 

The Arizona Safe Haven Law allows parents to hand over their babies under certain circumstances, and authorities say the most recent "Baby Jane" case underscores the need for education and awareness.

As for the newborn, dubbed "Baby Jane" by police, her family and her true identity are still a mystery.

"We are still desperately needing the public's help," Detective Steve Berry, from Mesa police, said. "At this point, we have found very few leads that we can actually follow up on." 

The family who found the baby in their front yard has now taken the first steps to adopt the baby. 

"We are interested," Lindsey Pacheco said.

Pacheco's family found the newborn baby wrapped in wet blankets on top of an irrigation box in their front yard last week.

"As soon as we found out that Jane was left here, I immediately called CPS and put my name in," added Pacheco.

The adoption process could take months to get over the legal hurdles, especially if the baby's parents are found or come forward.

For now, the baby will remain in a foster home.

Authorities still want to stress the awareness of Arizona's Safe Haven Law.

Since 2001, under state law, any unharmed baby born within 72 hours can be surrendered by the mother or designated agent, however they must physically give the newborn to a Safe Haven provider.

Locations include:

  • Hospitals
  • Fire departments
  • Any on-duty EMT or firefighter
  • Designated adoption agencies that have a Baby Safe Haven sign
  • Designated churches posted with a Baby Safe Haven sign
  • Some participating county health departments.

Stats:

  • 34 babies have been relinquished under the Safe Haven law since 2001
  • Two babies were turned over in 2015.
  • None have been turned in so far in 2016.