Safe Haven Laws: An Option for Unplanned Pregnancy

Finding yourself unexpectedly pregnant or having a baby that was not planned can be incredibly scary. “Safe Haven Laws” have been implemented in some states to allow an anonymous option for a mother to give up an infant in a way that is both safe for the child and without criminal repercussions for the mother. If you would like to talk with someone confidentially about the Safe Haven option in Florida (or other pregnancy options), you can call our team at 239-316-7316 or make an appointment today.

Regardless of your circumstances,  we care about you and want you to know you are not alone.  We are here to help and all conversations are confidential. Visit for more information related to Safe Haven laws or to find an anonymous Safe Haven Baby Box near you.

What are Safe Haven laws?

Safe Haven laws are laws that have been created to protect mothers who are in times of crisis during pregnancy and do not want the responsibility of caring for a child. These laws allow parents to safely and anonymously leave an infant under a week old with specific, approved individuals without any further responsibility for the child. This can be a great adoption alternative for mothers who feel that they may not be able to raise a child at this moment in their lives. 

How does Safe Haven work?

Safe Haven allows a parent to leave their child at any hospital, emergency medical service station, or fire station that is staffed with full-time emergency medical service technicians, paramedics, or firefighters. The state of Florida (and some other states) have also set up Safe Haven Baby Boxes at specific locations, which allow the infant to be left in a specifically designated safety device, rather than physically handing the baby to another person.

After surrendering the baby, an on-duty employee of one of the above locations will provide emergency medical services to the newborn (to the extent they are able) and will arrange for the newborn to be taken to the nearest hospital that has emergency medical services. 

The baby will receive any medical services, if they are needed. The hospital or Safe Haven location will then contact a licensed adoption agency to begin the process of placing the baby with parents who have been approved and are waiting to adopt a child.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes

While an infant can be surrendered at any time to a hospital, emergency medical service station, or fire station, there are also a few locations available that offer the option to leave your baby safely without being seen or requiring face-to-face interaction. 

A Baby Box is a safe box, which is installed in an exterior wall of a designated fire station or hospital. Once a baby is placed inside of the box, the door to the box is automatically locked and staff within the Baby Box’s location are notified that the box has been utilized. A medical staff member can then access the baby through an interior door and secure the newborn from inside the designated building.

Are there any requirements for Safe Haven laws?

The child must be:

  • Less than 7 days old
  • Unharmed
  • Brought by a parent who is not being forced to give up their child

These requirements are specific to the state of Florida, however, all states have a Safe Haven law. To find out your state Safe Haven law information and requirements, click here:

Will I need to leave any contact info?

No, the parent(s) have the absolute right to remain anonymous by the “Safe Haven” law. No identifying information will be recorded or shared with anyone. The Florida state law says that newborns who are left with the proper authorities are not considered abandoned. This means that the parents will not be investigated for or charged with abandonment unless authorities suspect the infant has been a victim of child abuse or neglect.

What happens if I change my mind? 

If either parent changes their mind and decides they would like to keep the baby, they can make a claim to the circuit court (or to whichever entity has physical or legal custody of the child) until their parental rights have been terminated by the court (this typically happens within 30 days).

Safe Haven laws are a great opportunity to preserve the life of a child. These laws allow a mother the peace of mind in being able to leave her child with a trusted guardian who will assist in finding a long-term family for the baby, during a difficult time where she does not feel capable of doing so herself.

Call Community Pregnancy Clinics to learn more about this option for your pregnancy. We would love to do whatever we can to help you navigate your options during this time. Our clinic offers free support in a confidential, judgment-free setting.

Other Resources

If you need to speak with someone immediately, need to talk to someone immediately, the Safe Haven Crisis Line is available to call or text: 1-866-99BABY1.

For more information on Safe Haven laws, or to find requirements and locations outside of Florida visit this website:


Clay County, FL. Florida Safe Haven Law. (n.d.).,and%20without%20fear%20of%20prosecution

US Legal, Inc. (n.d.). Find a legal form in minutes. Safe Haven Laws. 

Safe Haven Baby Boxes

At Community Pregnancy Clinics, we are here for you! We offer free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, free STI Testing, and free support during and after your pregnancy.


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