Bill to Protect Newborns Approved by House, Topper Says
HARRISBURG – Legislation by Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Franklin/Fulton) that would amend the Newborn Protection Act to allow parents to relinquish newborns to emergency medical responders at fire stations was approved by the House on Tuesday.

House Bill 1139 grows the list of locations parents can surrender a newborn aged 28 days or less and ensures the infant is properly cared for and receives medical treatment,” Topper said. “Currently, the act only allows infants to be surrendered to medical staff at a hospital, or a police officer at a police station.”

Topper’s legislation would also allow for infants to be relinquished at entities similar to fire stations that employ emergency medical responders. Additionally, the bill would give fire stations, hospitals and police stations the option to install incubators to receive newborns. Should an infant be left in an incubator, a 9-1-1 call would be automatically triggered if an onsite response isn’t made within a reasonable time.

Under the act, once a newborn is surrendered, he or she is placed into protective custody and must undergo a medical evaluation. The county children and youth agency and local police or state police must also be contacted.

Also under the act, parents who surrender an infant at a hospital or police station cannot be held criminally liable unless the newborn has been abused or is the victim of criminal conduct. Topper’s bill would include parents who relinquish an infant to an emergency service provider at a fire station.

House Bill 1139 is in the Senate for consideration.

Representative Jesse Topper
78th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
717.260.6374 /

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