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Rep. Vaupel’s ‘Baby Doe’ legislation approved unanimously by House

Rep. Vaupel’s ‘Baby Doe’ legislation approved unanimously by House

A bill sponsored by Rep. Hank Vaupel to help facilitate safe delivery of newborns surrendered to the state by their birth mothers was unanimously approved by the Michigan House on Tuesday.
Rep. Vaupel, who chairs the Health Policy Committee, says additional measures must be taken to protect the anonymity of birth mothers who wish to remain unnamed on the child’s birth certificate.
“I’ve sponsored this bill because I want to see more babies delivered safely to an appropriate and safe drop off location,” said Rep. Vaupel, of Fowlerville. “Far too often we’re seeing that mothers are unsafely abandoning, or even harming, their newborns. This legislation further protects the confidentiality of the birth mother to encourage safe delivery and drop-off of newborns.”
Under current law, women are allowed to anonymously surrender their newborns at a police station, fire station or hospital within 72 hours of the birth. Since the adoption of this law in 2000, 175 babies have been safely delivered, and most of them have been placed into homes with loving families.
Rep. Vaupel stated many women are forced to surrender their child for their own safety, because of an abusive relationship or their religious beliefs.
“If we want these babies to be dropped off at a safe and appropriate place, we must ensure that the birth mother may remain anonymous if that is her desire,” said Vaupel.
Under this legislation, birth-mothers will be listed as “unknown” and babies will be named “Baby Doe” on birth certificates.
The bill heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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