Colorado’s Safe Haven Law Has Saved 66 Abandoned Babies Since 2000, But More Work to Be Done


(The Coloradoan) One February evening in 2003, a couple knocked on a fire station door in Westminster, Colorado.

With them was a newborn baby. They surrendered the two-day-old girl, leaving her with a lieutenant and paramedic on duty — no questions asked, no names taken.

Since 2000, Colorado’s Safe Haven law has allowed parents in crisis to surrender their newborn babies at fire stations, hospitals and freestanding emergency rooms as long as the babies are unharmed and less than 72 hours old.

State legislators first pushed for the law after a spate of abandoned babies died across the state in the 1990s, including Larimer County’s “Baby Faith” and Pueblo’s “Baby Hope” — two eerily similar homicide cases from 1996.

The newborn dropped off in Westminster in 2003 was one of the first surrendered under the law. Within days, she was placed with foster parents John and Julie Burke. The couple named her Halle and adopted her at six months old. Now she’s 16.

Halle is one of Colorado’s 66 “Safe Haven babies” who have been surrendered under the life-saving law since its adoption in 2000.

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