Why is Safe Haven necessary?
Young girls and women who might be hiding their pregnancies or aren’t ready to be mothers are often scared, and don’t know where to turn. Out of fear or shame, some mothers abandon their baby hours after birth. Safe Haven gives parents an option that is both legal for the parents and safe for their child.
Does it work?
Yes! Since Safe Haven’s inception in Pennsylvania, 36 newborns have been relinquished to hospitals and subsequently adopted.
Am I going to get in trouble?
As long as the baby is less than 28 days old and not harmed or abused, you will not get into trouble with the police.
What happens to the baby?
The baby will be examined by a doctor and provided any medical care needed. The local children and youth agency will take custody of the baby and find him or her a loving family.
What if I change my mind?
If you change your mind and want your baby back, you’ll need to call your county children and youth agency. An online directory can be found on the DHS website.
What will the people at the hospital ask me?
To make sure that your baby gets the care it needs, they may ask for health information so the adoptive parents are aware of any possible conditions the baby may have or may inherit. You may fill out a health history form when you arrive at the hospital or print out and complete a Medical Questionnaire. You do not have to tell the hospital staff your name or any other information. If you don't want to give the baby to a staff member, you don’t have to as long as you leave the baby at a hospital. Some hospitals even have a crib or bassinet for you to put the baby in.
If I go to a police station instead of a hospital, can I just leave my baby there?
No. If you take the baby to a police station, you must give the baby to a police officer. If you wish to provide any health information about the infant, you may print out and complete a Medical Questionnaire.
Where can I get more information?
The Pennsylvania Safe Haven Helpline is available 24/7 for information and advice. The number is: 1-866-921-SAFE (7233).