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Baby Safe Haven Options [Complete Guide]

If you are in a situation where you are looking for information about how to surrender your baby safely and legally, you are likely facing different emotions, thoughts and questions. Some of those questions may be about topics like: 

  • Baby Safe Haven laws 
  • Baby safe haven locations 
  • Each states baby safe haven laws?  

To help answer all of your questions and give you the information you’re looking for, we’ve created this guide to everything you need to know about your Baby Safe Haven options. If you want immediate assistance, you can call 1-800-Adoption, or fill out this form to have an adoption professional discuss your situation with you. 

What’s the Difference Between Baby Safe Haven and Adoption? 

A safe haven and adoption are two of the best ways to make sure that your baby isn’t abandoned in unsafe conditions. Safe haven allows parents to surrender an infant at a designated location – usually a hospital, police station, or fire station – and as long as the baby has not been harmed, the parent will not be punished for leaving them. For many women, the appeal of a baby safe haven program is the idea of anonymity and because it seems like an easy fix to what they’re going through.  

But, what you may not know, is that you can still place your baby anonymously with an adoption agency, and receive even more benefits than if you were to just rely on a baby box or a safe haven baby adoption. The benefits of adoption can be: 

  • Adoption financial assistance 
  • The ability to choose the perfect family for your baby 
  • Free social services 
  • Complete anonymity in the adoption process 
  • And more 

Before making any decisions, we suggest you contact an adoption professional to discuss your current situation, and to go over the options you have available. Although surrendering your baby may seem like your only choice, you may want to consider adoption.  

With over 30 years of experience as one of the nation’s largest national adoption agencies, American Adoptions has helped parents in similar situations like yours find adoptive families for their baby. By choosing adoption for your baby, you gain access to helpful services through our agency. Services like:  

  • 24/7 counseling and support services: We understand support isn't only needed during business hours. No matter when you have questions, or just need to talk to someone, you will always have an adoptive professional ready to help.  
     
  • Financial assistance: When you choose adoption, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to help cover medical bills, some living expenses and more. Adoption is always free for birth mothers, with the goal in mind of helping ease some of the financial burdens and strain. Your assistance will vary depending upon your specific situation, but your adoption professional will be able to explain this process. 
     
  • Choosing the adoptive family: As a birth mother, you can gain the peace of mind knowing that you handpicked your child’s adoptive parents, based on qualities you want your child to be raised with. By choosing the family, it also opens up the opportunity to have a relationship with the family and remain involved in your child's life through open adoption. American Adoptions can help you find the perfect family because we are a large, national agency. We work with hundreds of families at once so that you can feel confident in your child’s future.  

These are just some of the benefits of choosing adoption. Adoption provides many opportunities, not only for your child, but also for you. But don’t just take it from us, take it from someone who has also chosen adoption for her baby.  

“I knew that what I was doing in placing in Charlotte for adoption was 100 percent out of love. I loved her so much that I had to be selfless.” Said Lindsey, a birth mother who used our services for her adoption. 

By clicking this link, you can read other stories and testimonials from birth mothers in similar situations as yours, to learn more about the experiences they had throughout their adoption.   

Anytime you have questions, or would like to learn more about adoption, our agency would be more than happy to help. Please call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our free information form to speak with an adoption professional today. 

What are Baby Safe Haven Laws? 

Baby Safe Haven laws, also known as Baby Moses Laws, are laws enacted to protect new mothers and the babies they choose to surrender. Essentially, these laws allow a woman who decides to surrender her baby to a safe haven location to remain anonymous and free from prosecution from child endangerment or abandonment. 

These laws were enacted in every state in order to help prevent babies from being abandoned. If women know that they have other options outside of having to resort to such drastic measures, hopefully they’ll be able to make better decisions that don’t involve abandonment or the possibility of being charged for a crime. 

While safe haven laws do provide some protection, the best way to ensure that you do not commit a crime and make sure your baby has a wonderful, loving family is to work with an agency like American Adoptions. 

Does Every State Have a Baby Safe Haven Law? 

Yes, and it’s important to keep in mind that Baby Safe Haven laws will vary by state to state. This means that who can surrender the baby, how old the baby can be, and the locations where they can be surrendered can all change depending on where you live. Because of this, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the specific Safe Haven laws in your state. You can take a look at what those are through childwelfare.gov. 

What is a Safe Haven Baby Location? 

There are several types of safe haven sites to surrender a baby. For example, most people imagine a woman taking her baby to a fire station. And while that is one option, different state laws specify different safe haven locations for baby drop-off. Safe haven places for babies can include locations such as: 

  • Safe haven baby box locations 
  • A fire station 
  • A hospital 
  • A church 

The options you have for a safe haven baby adoption will depend on the state you live in. If you are considering a safe haven baby surrender, it’s very important to make sure you take your baby to an approved safe haven location in your state. Otherwise, you will not be protected by baby Safe Haven laws and could be subject to legal consequences.

Because understanding laws can be hard and you do not want to accidentally be charged with abandonment, it is often best to contact an adoption agency. You can use 1-800-ADOPTION as a baby safe haven hotline to have all of your questions and concerns addressed with a professional. 

Where are Safe Haven Baby Box Locations? 

Although every state has Safe Haven laws, not every state has safe haven baby box locations. Indeed, there are only a few states in which they’re easy to find, including Indiana, Arkansas, Ohio and Arizona. If you live in any of these states, you can find a map of locations near you.  

But, even if you don’t live in any of these states, you still have options. You can take your baby to another baby safe haven location or reach out to an adoption professional to go over your options. They can help you make a safe plan for your baby. 

Why Do Women Choose a Safe Haven Over Adoption? 

There are many reasons why a woman who is overwhelmed with her unplanned pregnancy might consider to safe surrender a baby instead of making an adoption plan. For example, she might be: 

  • Scared that making an adoption plan means she has to disclose her identity 
  • Afraid of her information being shared by others 
  • Afraid of what her family, and potentially the birth father, will say about her plans for adoption 
  • Afraid that she’ll “get in trouble” for something like substance abuse or her citizenship status 
  • Needs help quickly and she’s not sure where to turn 
  • Unsure if adoption is still an option for her at this point 

These reasons may make it seem like a safe haven baby box adoption is better than contacting an adoption agency directly. But that’s not always the case. 

Although a safe haven for unwanted babies acts as an alternative to abandoning a baby, if you want to provide your child the best opportunities, with services that will benefit you both, adoption is the best way to achieve that goal. 

Keep in mind, when you choose to work with American Adoptions, your adoption specialist will be there will you every step of the way to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. Regardless of how old your baby is, or how close to your due date you are, making an adoption plan is always an option. 

You can keep your identity a secret. You can be in charge of the plan. You can find an amazing family for your baby. You can receive financial support along the way. And you can have a brighter future, despite how difficult things are today. 

We know that you’re going through a lot, and you probably still have a lot of questions. To learn more about safe surrender a baby vs. adoption, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our free information form to get started. 

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

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