Its the kind of program they hope will bring in no new patients, but hospital workers know they are out there. In 2000 the Florida State Legislature passed a bill, Safe Haven for Newborns, that allows parents to leave unharmed babies at special facilities.
Since the program began, 59 babies were left at Safe Haven locations in Florida. Four of those babies were cared for by Shands Lake Shore in Lake City and now they are working to find more lives to save. The babies are kept at the mother-baby unit for 48 hours and then are sent to a child placement agency. The baby then gets adopted, helping the child and a family waiting for a child.
"It's kind of bitter sweet," says Janet Hoffman, a Registered Nurse at Shands Lake Shore Hospital. "It's sad that it didn't work out for the birth parents but it's good that this baby has the opportunity to fulfill some families dreams out there."
Shands Lake Shore recently posted signs outside their building to help promote the program. They also expanded the number of employees trained in program. In the last seven years, 33 newborns were found abandoned in Florida, 21 of whom died.
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