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Can I Leave a Baby at a Fire or Police Station?

How Adoption Can Be a Better Option

It might be possible for you to leave your baby at a police or fire station without facing criminal charges. But did you know there's a better way?

Call 1-800-ADOPTION now. Here, you'll find free, helpful support. Whatever situation you are in, we can help make it better. It's not too late.

If you’re considering leaving your baby at a fire station or just struggling to come to terms with your unplanned pregnancy, our heart goes out to you. This is a tough situation to be in, and it’s hard to think about what the best thing to do is, given the stress and overwhelming feelings you're experiencing. But more than anything, we want you to know that you do have options available.   

Whether you’re thinking about abandoning a baby at the fire station or the police station, or are looking for more information on the options you have available it’s normal to have a lot of questions. This guide will help answer those questions and explore the options you have available.  

As an adoption agency, American Adoptions wants to do everything we can to help. To learn more about what options you have, and to get immediate answers to any questions or concerns you may have, please call 1-800-ADOPTION. You can also fill out our free information form to get in touch with an adoption professional.  

Private Adoption: The Best Alternative to Leaving Unwanted Babies at Fire Stations 

If you already know that you’re ready to be a parent, or you realize you no longer want your child, then you’re probably feeling scared and unsure of what to do next. In this situation, it’s easy to feel like leaving a baby at a fire station or a police station is your only option.    

But no matter what your situation is, we want to remind you that it’s never too late to consider adoption for your baby.   

While an unplanned pregnancy can feel like your life is spinning out of control, making an adoption plan can help you feel that you are gaining control of your situation. You may rest easier knowing that your baby will be placed directly in the arms of a loving family that you chose for them. Women who decide to place their child for adoption, instead of leaving unwanted babies at a fire stations, are giving them the gift of life and a future full of countless opportunities.  

When you choose adoption, not only do you gain peace of mind by choosing the adoptive family for your baby, you also 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 and provide the support you need.  

  • Post-placement contact: You are in control of how much contact you have with the adoptive family and your baby after placement has occurred. Open adoption allows you to remain involved in your child's life if you so choose.  

  • Financial assistance: To help eliminate the stress and financial burden of child birth, adoption is always free for birth mothers. When you choose adoption, you may also be eligible to receive financial assistance to help cover medical bills, some living expenses, and more.    

These are just some of the benefits of choosing adoption and how adoption provides many opportunities, not only for your child but also for you.   

Don’t just take it from us. With over 30 years of experience as one of the nation’s largest national adoption agencies, we have helped thousands of birth parents provide opportunities to their children. Here, you can read stories and testimonials from mothers who went through similar situations, and how American Adoptions helped them reach their goals of finding the best adoptive families for their baby and regaining control of their life.  

We understand this is a life-changing decision, but we are here to help. Call 1-800-ADOPTION at any point to learn more about how adoption can benefit you and your baby.  

Can You Really Just Leave a Baby at a Fire station or a Police Station?    

In most cases, yes — you can leave your baby with an on-duty staff member at an approved Safe Haven location, and a fire station or a police station is considered a Safe Haven in most states.

However, you can’t just leave your baby at the fire station or a police station unsupervised.

If there are no Safe Haven baby box locations near you, then you must place them in the arms of a police officer or a firefighter. Otherwise, it is considered abandonment.  

In some states, you might also have to give information about the baby’s medical history by filling out an anonymous form to help provide medical care for the baby.  

What are the Laws About Leaving Newborn Babies at Fire or Police Station?   

If you’ve just found out that this is an option, you’re probably worried about the legality behind it. After all, if it’s not okay to just abandon a baby, is it really safe to leave them at a fire station or hospital? The answer to that is still yes. In every state, a woman’s decision is protected by something called a “Safe Haven law.”   

  • This law applies to a woman surrendering a baby in every state.

  • It ensures that the mother, or someone acting on behalf of the mother, has the right to remain anonymous when she surrenders her baby to a safe haven location.

  • It also states that she cannot be prosecuted for abandonment or neglect when she does so.  

However, the best way to be sure that you are following all laws is to contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. It can be very difficult to understand the laws about leaving a baby at a fire station. Choosing adoption, on the other hand, means your baby will still end up with a loving family, but you can be 100% sure that you are not violating any laws. 

What Happens After Leaving a Baby at the Fire Station or Police Station?    

After leaving a baby at a fire station or a police station, a couple of things will happen. After your baby has either been surrendered to the baby box or you’ve placed them into the arms of an employee, employees will move quickly to make sure that there is a suitable home for them. In most cases, they will contact the local Department of Children and Family Services, and the baby will go into foster care until they can be adopted. In other cases, they might contact a private adoption agency to arrange for placement.  

While it may seem like using a Safe Haven baby fire station for your baby is the best idea and the only idea, please don’t forget that help is always available. By leaving your baby at the fire station or hospital, you’ll miss out on the benefits that you would get from working with an adoption agency  

If you would like to learn more about making an adoption plan and discuss your situation, we’d be more than happy to help. Please call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our free information form to get in contact with an adoption professional today. 

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions 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.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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