A Minnesota woman admits to leaving the bodies of two babies in a wooded area in Deuel County.
While the exact circumstances of that case are still unclear, there is an option for parents who feel they can't keep a newborn child.
The incident in Deuel County was both tragic, and unnecessary. In fact, that's what Safe Haven laws were designed to prevent.
"We really want to make sure that people are aware of the fact that it is available. Just because of the fact that if there is a situation where a parent isn't able to take care of the child, that they can safely leave them with somebody. And that child will be safe and we won't have any tragic deaths in our community," Amy Marsh with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue said.
All 50 states have some sort of Safe Haven law in place. But each one has different statutes. In South Dakota, any child under 60 days old can be dropped off at a Safe Haven location. Minnesota is less lenient, only allowing babies under 7 days.
However, Marsh says that doesn't mean there isn't help available.
"Any parent that's having concerns should contact the social service agency. And they'll work with them to help figure out what the best thing is to do for that child," Marsh said.
Babies can be taken to area hospitals or clinics, social service agencies, fire or police stations.
Many young parents worry there will be legal repercussions for abandoning their child, but Marsh says unless something is wrong with the baby, they have nothing to fear.
If there's any indication that the child has been abused within that first 60 days of life, then there could be some ramifications. But if the child is being dropped off specifically because that family cannot take care of that child, there are no legal ramifications," Marsh said.
While the Safe Haven law isn't used very often in the Sioux Falls area, it is there to serve a purpose. And Marsh hopes it will be used whenever necessary.
"All we're trying to do is protect these children under the age of 60 days, to make sure that they go on to lead healthy lives," Marsh said.
Parents do give up their legal rights to a child 14 days after dropping him or her off.
You can find more information on Safe Haven laws on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.