Task force will raise awareness of how to give up newborns

August 12, 2014

By Staff

A new county task force has been formed to develop a campaign to ensure people know they can safely relinquish newborn babies.

Representatives from public health, criminal justice agencies and human service programs will work on educating people so they know there is a safe way to give up babies.

State law allows parents to hand over a newborn within 72 hours of birth to qualified personnel at a hospital, fire station or federally designated rural health clinic, without fear of prosecution for abandonment.

The task force grew out of the unsolved Baby Kimball case in North Bend, where a deceased newborn girl was found in February. She was wrapped in a towel within a half-mile of a hospital.

Following the incident, the King County Council unanimously approved a motion, co-sponsored by Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the representative for the Issaquah area, setting up a task force to increase awareness of options to legally and safely give up a newborn.

The task force will determine how the county can engage in a collaborative public education campaign, and work with the state to better track incidences, and find out whether there are opportunities to expand drop-off locations.

The group will present a report to the county executive and the council by the end of October.

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