Safe Haven laws allow parents to leave their infants, up to 90 days of age, with employees of a hospital emergency room, fire department, or law enforcement agency. Learn about the benefits, costs, and legality of safe haven programs. You can also get help establishing one in your own community. But how do you get started?
Safe Haven laws allow parents to leave a newborn up to 90 days old with an employee at a hospital emergency room, law enforcement agency, or fire department
Safe Haven laws exist in all 50 states. They vary in age requirements, who can give a child up for adoption, and the circumstances under which an infant can be relinquished. A safe haven is a place where a parent can leave an infant without disclosing their identity. In most states, safe havens accept infants up to 72 hours of age, while in other states; this age limit is 90 days.
In exchange for providing safe haven, parents surrendering unwanted babies are released from their parental and criminal liability. Some states require parents to provide their name and family history, but others guarantee their confidentiality. The parent giving up their baby forfeits their right to privacy and criminal liability but is free to petition the court within 28 days.
Benefits of Safe Haven laws
Although Safe Haven laws are important, they don’t address the specific needs of women seeking an abortion. In addition, they don’t address the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth in the U.S. Advocates for Safe Haven laws hope that more people will learn about their benefits. Amy Olson, a writer and advocate for women’s rights, hopes that more people will learn about the law and its benefits.
Adopting a child is a formal process that requires consent of both parents. Depending on the situation, the child may need to agree to the adoption. In most cases, parents must go through a formal court process before their child is legally placed for adoption.
Legality of Safe Haven laws
Safe Haven laws are intended to offer a safe place to an infant in distress. While they may not be widely known, these laws provide women with an alternative to abortion. Many of these laws also allow women to relinquish their newborn babies in an anonymous way. In a post-Roe world, these laws may not be used as much as they could be.
In Texas, the Safe Haven law has been used relatively rarely. Since it was passed in 2009, 172 babies have been relinquished under the law. There have been 21 such surrenders in 2020. So far this year, seven infants have been given up under the law.
Cost of Safe Haven laws
Advocates for Safe Haven laws cite statistics showing that over three thousand babies have been left at safe havens since 1999. Yet, they also point to concerns about legal repercussions. Though some states protect mothers who give up their children to safe havens, they often fail to provide any resources or assistance to the women and children in need.
Research shows that babies who are safely surrendered to safe havens are at increased risk of developing health problems. More than half of such children are diagnosed with a disease within their first year of life. Despite these concerns, advocates say that Safe Haven laws are worth the costs if they can save one child.
Impact of Safe Haven laws on women’s careers
Safe Haven laws are laws that help pregnant women who have decided to give up their children. These laws protect women from criminal charges for giving up their infants. These laws were passed in all 50 states between 1999 and 2009. The laws were pushed during heated debates about abortion and sex education. Proponents hoped that these laws would help women avoid unwanted pregnancies. However, there are many concerns.
Proponents of safe haven laws have varying personal viewpoints on abortion and child welfare. While safe haven laws do provide relief to parents facing dire situations, they are not used as a substitute for safe abortions. Adoption and fostering are more common forms of relinquishment. In addition, advocates say that safe haven laws can be used as a harm reduction strategy for parents in desperate circumstances.