The Pennsylvania Safe Haven law gives parents a safe, legal alternative to abandoning their baby. It allows parents to bring their newborn (up to 28 days old) to any Pennsylvania hospital or to a police officer at a police station without the fear of criminal prosecution, as long as the baby has not been harmed. Pennsylvania is one of 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that have enacted safe haven legislation.
"Baby Mary" was found on July 11, 2001 at the Sunbury Municipal Transfer Station. Her death led to the enactment of Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven Law, also known as the Newborn Protection Act. The law was enacted in 2002 and gave parents the option to bring their newborn to any Pennsylvania hospital (excluding facilities caring exclusively for people with mental illness or primarily engaged in rehabilitation services or long-term care). The law was amended in 2014, to include police stations as Safe Havens.
On June 25th, 2012, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring July 11th as "Safe Haven Day."
Since 2003, 36 babies have been relinquished under Safe Haven.