Changes to a Minnesota law, prompted by a Winona investigation, provide more options for legally abandoning a newborn baby.
The new law taking effect Wednesday says parents can call 911 for an ambulance or take the newborn to an urgent care clinic or hospital within seven days. The old law enacted in 2000 was among the strictest in the nation and required parents to turn over an unwanted newborn to a hospital within three days
Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson pushed for the new law after the body of a baby girl was found floating in a canvas bag in the Mississippi River near Winona last fall. Jesson also cited three similar infant deaths in the Red Wing area.
The Winona investigation, involving the baby who law enforcement named "Angel," remains open nearly a year later and has not been solved. The baby was found wrapped in canvas bags floating in the Mississippi River in the Homer area on Labor Day last year.
The Star Tribune says state law still gives mothers a chance to change their minds and reclaim the children they abandoned, although they would be subject to child welfare investigations.