California has a Safe Surrender Baby Law
California Safe Surrender Baby law is also called Safe Haven Law. Under the Safe Haven law, a woman can surrender her baby to any hospital emergency room or designated fire station.
Why do mothers surrender their baby under the Safe Haven Law?
- They are unable or unwilling to care for the child
- Placing the child for adoption is not an option
- Confidentiality is important to the mother
- The mother does not want to be prosecuted for abandoning her baby illegally
How do you surrender a baby under the Safe Haven Law?
- Baby must be no more than three days old
- Bring the baby to a hospital emergency room or designated fire station
- Surrender the baby to a staff member
- No names are required
An identification bracelet will be placed on mother and baby in case the mother wants to ask for her baby back
Can you change your mind after you have surrendered your baby?
Yes. Under California Safe Haven law, you have fourteen days from the day you surrender to think about your decision. You can return to the hospital or fire station with your identifying bracelet during this fourteen-day timeframe and ask for your baby back.
What is a safe surrender box and do you have to leave your baby in a safe surrender box?
No. Safe surrender boxes are rare and not generally used. It is more common to surrender your baby under the Safe Haven law to a fire station employee or staff member at a hospital emergency room.
Does the mother have to share any personal information when she safe surrenders?
Personal information is not required. You may be asked to share family medical information using a confidential form. This form is optional and can be very helpful in caring for the child.
What happens to the baby after it is safe surrendered?
The baby will be examined and given medical treatment as necessary. Then the county department of social services, or child protective services, will place the baby in a foster or pre-adoptive home.
Why does California have a Safe Haven law?
The purpose of the Safe Haven Law, or safe surrender, is to protect babies from being hurt or killed because they were abandoned in dumpsters and public bathrooms. Abandoning a baby this way is illegal because it puts that baby in extreme danger. Many of these babies die.
Can you place a baby for adoption instead of doing a safe surrender?
Yes. You can choose a family to place your baby with at anytime during your pregnancy or after delivery. Safe surrender is not an option when your baby is more than three days old. An open or closed adoption is always an option after birth as long as your baby is not taken into child protective custody.
I’m here for you if you have questions about safe surrender, open and closed adoption, or how to prevent child protective services from taking your baby into custody. Contact me today using the contact options below.