Hawaii’s baby safe haven law falls short on education

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It’s a story that continues to shock the community and raises many questions. A young mother who took a baby to the Queen’s Medical Center apparently lied about the child being hers.

It didn’t have to happen thanks to Hawaii’s safe haven law. But it turns out, there’s a surprising lack of education about that law.

The real story behind the issue is that word of mouth doesn’t seem to get the message out about the state’s baby safe haven law.

Rep. John Mizuno says he’ll throw in his own money to change that and make the law more visible.

There are two types of signs that other states have posted around hospitals, fire houses, and police stations to educate the public.

Rep. Mizuno has about eight signs and is ready to post them around town.

In fact, he’s heard from two states that could send Hawaii additional signs for that purpose. Or Rep. Mizuno says he’s willing to pay for more signs himself.

But not every baby safe haven site has been open to accepting them.

“We contacted a couple hospitals, but they didn’t feel comfortable with us putting signs by their emergency rooms,” Rep. Mizuno said.

Brianne Randle: Rep. Mizuno said he’d be willing to come down tonight or tomorrow to screw in the signs.

Queen’s Medical Center ER physician, Dr. Han Park: If that is what he is willing to do, I think the administration would be willing to talk with him about that.

“The next step will also be to contact the fire stations and police stations and see if they’ll allow us to do that,” Rep. Mizuno said.

Other hospitals KHON2 spoke with said they, too, will consider posting signs.

The Honolulu Fire Department says the signs are a good idea and will talk it over with the city.

Honolulu Police, fire, and hospitals KHON2 called on Wednesday all say they educate their employees about the law and the procedure for accepting newborn babies.


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