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Safe Haven Law

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Safe Haven Law

You may have read a recent article about a firefighter in Florida adopting the baby, who was dropped at his fire station under the Safe Haven Law. We hope you read and share the information below as a way to help spread the word of this life saving law and how it works here in Illinois.


-What is the Safe Haven Law in Illinois?

This law states that an unharmed baby 30 days old or less, can be brought to a fire station, police station or hospital with absolutely NO questions asked and NO repercussions. Every single state has a law like this, though the details may look a bit different.


-What are the Safe Haven locations that a baby can be brought to in Illinois?

In Illinois, the Safe Haven locations are: hospitals, fire stations or police stations. The baby must be handed over to a staff person, and NO questions will be asked. The person who brought the baby to the location can immediately walk away knowing they will not be in trouble, and that the baby will be safe and well cared for.


-Why would someone utilize the Safe Haven Law for their baby?

A parent is likely feeling terrified and unsure where to turn after delivery a baby and not feeling prepared to parent. For some they call an adoption agency to create an adoption plan. For others, they may feel they are so scared and desperate that they have to make a quick decision. This is when they could take the baby to a fire station, police station or hospital at any time, give the baby to a staff person and leave immediately. It may be hard to understand what could be going through someone’s mind to make this decision but we have witnessed first hand the positive outcomes of this courageous act. Without this option for people, an unsafe abandonment could occur.


-What happens to the baby next?

The baby will be examined and cared for in a hospital. The hospital will contact Illinois’ DCFS who will then contact the next licensed Illinois adoption agency on their list (like Hopeful Beginnings!) That agency will be granted temporary guardianship of the baby. The adoption agency will then place the baby with one of their background checked and approved waiting adoptive families who will get the chance to adopt the baby should the biological parents not come forward. It’s important for people to understand that foster care is NOT involved when its a Safe Haven case. These babies either find permanency with their forever families or are returned to their biological parents (if they come forward and prove they can provide safety and stability).


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