So you have decided, for whatever reason, you could not abort the baby you are carrying. You may still worry that you will not be able to live your life as you want. You may be worried about what people will say or do if you show up with a baby. You may just want a better life for your child but are not sure how to go about the whole adoption thing.
If you are in one of the forty-nine states that have a Safe Haven law in place then you have an option that will protect both you and your baby. You do not want to hurt your child. You do not want to go to jail. You want to do the thing that will keep you both safe.
When you abandon your baby or harm it, you will face many legal problems including prison if your child dies from your actions. This holds true even if you do not mean to harm the baby. No one wants to see that happen. In 1999 Texas was the first state to pass a law that allows parents to hand over their newborns to be cared for by the state until a permanent home can be found.
As long as the child is not harmed or abused, there is no reason to take legal action against the parents. The mother is often the one that the state wants to have surrender the baby. The laws are different in each state and should be checked by the parents. In addition, several states want the child left with medical staff at a hospital.
Depending on the state you live in, you may have up to 72 hours or more to turn your child over to the proper people. You will want to do a search on the internet or check with the hospital or police station. Call them anonymously if you would be more comfortable. To do an internet just type in your state and the words Safe Haven Law and you should be able to find what you need.
The person who you give the baby to will make sure it gets medical treatment and will let the child welfare agency know that the baby was surrendered. They will ask for some medical background information so that the baby’s new caregivers know the history. Some states have that person give you some information about the choice you have made and some resources to help you deal with it. Most states protect the parent’s identity so it will not go on the news or other public places. You do not have to tell anyone.
The father has a right to the baby in some of the states if he is not the one to have given the baby up. Mom also has some rights in some of the states to change her mind but it will take some time before she can have full custody. These are things to think about before giving up your baby.
Please know your rights. It will be much harder on you if you do something to harm your child then if you give it up under the Safe Haven law. Moreover, you will feel much better about giving your child the chance at a good life then living with the guilt of having given the child no chance at life.
National Safe Haven Alliance