Confidential Toll Free Hotline 1-888-510-BABY
FLORIDA

ABOUT THE FLORIDA SAFE HAVEN LAW

Hospital

EMS Provider

Fire Station

7Days

Florida Safe Haven Law:

Ann. Statute 383.50

You can leave your baby, up to 7 days old, with an employee at any hospital, emergency medical services station or with a fire fighter at any fire station in Florida.

How does it work?

A distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their infant can give up custody of their baby, no questions asked. They must simply bring the infant to a safe haven location and make sure they locate a person to give the child. As long as the child shows no signs of intentional abuse, no name or other information is required. The specific locations and maximum age of the child varies from state to state. You can find the details of for your location by using our Safehaven Finder. It's safe. It's anonymous. You do not need to tell anyone.

What's the difference between Safe Haven and Adoption?

To place your infant for adoption, you must make an adoption plan and enter into a legal contract where you forfeit your right to custody of your child. Safe Haven arrangements do not require paperwork or contracts. The process is anonymous, so long as your baby is unharmed.

Baby Safe Haven laws allow you to give your baby to a responsible adult at a designated location, and walk away, no questions asked. If you do not return to reclaim your baby, your parental rights will be terminated in a few months, and the child will be adopted by a family waiting for a child.

Can only a parent bring in the baby?

No. The parent may choose to have someone else bring in the infant. It can be a family member, a friend, a priest or minister, a social worker—practically any responsible adult.

Can you help a parent decide where to bring the baby?

Yes. The parent can call the Safe Haven Hotline 1-888-510-BABY to receive counseling and get details on the address and directions to the closest safe haven in your state.

Does a parent have to call before bringing in the baby?

No. A parent can walk in anytime, provided that there are staff present to receive the child at the safe haven location.

Does a parent have to tell anything to the people taking the baby?

No. Nothing is required. However, safe haven staff will record any information that a parent is willing to share, such as the child's health, race, date of birth, place of birth or the medical history of the parents. This could be very useful in caring for the child.

What happens to the baby?

The child will be examined and given medical treatment, if needed. The Social Services Administration will then take custody through Child Protective Services and place the child with an appropriate caregiver.

Does my state have a Baby Safe Haven law?

Yes. Every state in the United States has a Baby Safe Haven provision. The law details vary from state to state, so it's important you learn about your state's requirements.

What is a Baby Safe Haven Law?

Infant Abandonment laws or "Baby Safe Haven" laws exist to enable a person to relinquish an unwanted infant anonymously. If a mother cannot care for her child, she can bring that baby into a Safe Haven location and leave the baby with a responsible adult, no questions asked. As long as the baby has not been abused, the person may do so without fear of arrest or prosecution.

WWhy are states offering Safe Haven Laws?

The purpose of Safe Haven is to protect unwanted babies from being hurt or killed because they were abandoned. You may have heard tragic stories of babies left in dumpsters or public toilets. The parents who committed these acts may have been under severe emotional distress. The mothers may have hidden their pregnancies, fearful of what would happen if their families found out. Because they were afraid and had nowhere to turn for help, they abandoned their babies.

Abandoning a baby puts the child in extreme danger. Too often, it results in the child's death. It is also illegal, with severe consequences. But with Safe Haven, this tragedy doesn't ever have to happen again.

What if I change my mind?

It's rare that a mother changes her mind. But, if you do, you will have a few days to come back and speak with the authorities about what arrangements can be made for the baby.

I'm in a custody battle. How do I know my spouse won't use the Safe Haven law to take away my child?

Safe Haven laws and locations are only for infants. If your child isn't an infant, there's no way the Safe Haven law can be used. If your child is an infant, rest assured that when a baby comes into the Safe Haven program, authorities across the US are notified and a thorough check is done to make sure no one is looking for the baby.

In Florida, no one ever has to abandon a child again.