Change to abandoned babies law signed

Campus police new 'safe haven'

August 12, 2011

Kristen McQueary

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(WBEZ/Kristen McQueary)
Diane Jannetto (left) and Dawn Geras of the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation hold baby Riley, 10 months, who was adopted.

Mothers in crisis now have another option to safely and anonymously give up their newborns.

The Abandoned Babies Act is now expanded to include college campus police stations as a "safe haven" location for overhwhelmed moms to leave their babies. The law already provided for city police stations, fire houses and hospitals.

Since the law went into effect 10 years ago, 69 abandoned babies have been adopted through the program.

Baby Riley was baby No. 64. She was left at the hospital where she was born and adopted by a family with two other little girls.

State Sen. Willie Delgado (D-Chicago), who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said the measure gives moms options "rather than finding that child in a garbage can."

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the change into law at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus police station Thursday afternoon.