Safe Haven Newborn Information
What is a Safe Haven Newborn?
A Safe Haven newborn is an unharmed infant who is 30 days old or younger and the infant is delivered by a parent or agent of the parent to a Safe Haven provider.
What can a parent or guardian expect?
A parent or agent of the parent may remain anonymous and the Safe Haven provider shall not require the parent or agent of the parent to answer any questions. The Safe Haven provider shall offer the parent or agent of the parent written information about information and referral organizations.
Who is a Safe Haven provider?
A Safe Haven provider is:
- a firefighter on duty,
- an emergency medical technician on duty,
- a medical staff person at a general hospital or a rural general hospital on duty,
- a staff member or volunteer at a licensed private child welfare agency which posts a public notice that it is willing to accept a newborn infant,
- a staff member or volunteer at a licensed private adoption agency which posts a public notice that it is willing to accept a newborn infant, and
- a staff member or volunteer at a church which posts a public notice that it is willing to accept a newborn infant.
How long does a parent have to drop off a newborn?
If a parent or agent of a parent voluntarily delivers the newborn infant to a Safe Haven provider, the Safe Haven provider shall take custody of the newborn infant if both of the following are true:
- The parent did not express an intent to return for the newborn infant.
- The Safe Haven provider reasonably believes that the child is a newborn infant (30 days old or younger).
What should a provider do after receiving an infant?
A Safe Haven provider must:
- Immediately transport the newborn infant or arrange for the newborn infant to be transported to a hospital for a physical examination;
- Immediately call Department of Child Safety (DCS) at 1-888-767-2445 to inform DCS that a newborn infant has been left with the Safe Haven provider, the location of the hospital where the agency transported the infant or arranged for the infant to be transported; and
- Inform DCS, if the Safe Haven provider is a private licensed adoption agency or affiliated with one, and whether that agency will take custody of the infant within 24 hours after the hospital completes the physical exam.
How quickly must a private adoption agency act to receive a Safe Haven newborn?
Within 24 hours after the completion of the physical examination.
What happens if a newborn is not claimed by a private adoption agency?
Department of Child Safety will contact the next licensed private adoption agency on the rotating list of agencies until an agency is contacted that agrees to take custody of the infant. If no agency is identified to take custody of the infant within 48 hours after completion of the infant’s physical examination, DCS will take custody of the infant.
When will DCS take custody of a Safe Haven newborn?
If no agency takes custody of the infant within 48 hours after completion of the physical examination, DCS must take custody of the infant. DCS will also take custody of an infant if the hospital identifies that the infant is older than 72 hours or has been abused or neglected.