Call for a safe place for unwanted babies

Most children abandoned are found dead and more could die if baby safe havens are not introduced in Australia, experts say.

To prevent abandoned babies from dying, the US and other parts of the world have introduced places where a mother may anonymously leave her child after birth without fear of prosecution.

Labor senator Helen Polley has lobbied for the introduction of baby safe havens for more than a decade.

She says Australia has failed in its responsibility to these children and society should never pass judgment on these mothers because the circumstances are not understood. ''We don't know whether it is financial, or whether it is because they have psychological issues, whether they have been raped or there is incest,'' she said.

Steve Hardy, abandoned in 1949, believes safe havens are essential. They showed ''society accepts the need for support for mothers in a vulnerable position, and more importantly, it provides immediate care for the child, and ongoing support for their future wellbeing''.

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