If you are pregnant, or know some who is pregnant, and desperate: Help is available. An unwanted pregnancy can be traumatic. You may have feelings of shame or fear. When you are scared and don’t know what to do… you may feel that you are alone, but you are not. There are caring people who are willing to help.
Please don’t wait until your baby is born.
The Safe Haven confidential helpline
can provide you with the help you need.
What is the Florida ‘Safe Baby” law?Florida law states that a birth parent (mother or father) may leave an infant-approximately three days old or younger and who does not appear to be abused or neglected-in the hands of staff at a fire or ambulance station or hospital. The parent may do this anonymously without fear of being arrested or charged with abandonment as long as the infant has not been abused or neglected.
What is a Safe Baby Station?Many hospitals and fire stations, including ambulance stations, have a sign identifying their building as a Safe Baby Station. At these locations, the staff is prepared to accept your baby. However, you may leave your baby at any hospital emergency room, fire station or ambulance station, in the hands of a staff person. Tell them you are leaving the baby in “Safe Haven.’
What will they ask me?You may be asked a few medical history questions to include in your baby’s record to help answer health questions in the future. This is NOT to try to find you later. The staff may also offer you information on help lines and referral services.
What happens to my baby?If you leave your baby at a fire or ambulance station, they will probably provide some initial medical care to the baby and then transport it to the nearest hospital. The hospital will examine the baby and take care of any medical needs that your baby may have. They will then contact a local licensed child-placing agency.
What if I have questions or need help?If you have any questions about the law or need help, please call 1 (877) 767-2229. This is a confidential, 24-hour toll-free hotline operated by volunteers of A Safe Haven for Newborns. Assistance is available in English, Spanish and Creole. For more information, you may also log on to www.asafehavenfornewborns.com.
The volunteers at this hotline will also be able to provide you with information on the location of hospitals, fire and EMS stations throughout the state and on referral sources for prenatal care, guidance, healthcare and a variety of organizations that may be helpful to you.
What if I change my mind?If things change and you feel you can care for your baby, you may claim your infant before the judge terminates your rights as a parent. For assistance, you will need to call the courthouse in the community where you left your baby or call 1-877-767-2229 and the volunteers at this 24-hour help line will be able to provide you with the phone number and address of the court in the community where the baby was left.
Why is Florida Doing this?
- To protect babies from being hurt or dying because they were abandoned.
- To promote alternatives to a frightened woman or teenager who in a moment of desperation may do something drastic and tragic.
How can I help this cause?You may call the help line operated by A Safe Haven for Newborns to offer your assistance in promoting awareness of the law and services available. A Safe Haven for Newborns works with other organizations throughout the state, such as Healthy Start Coalitions, and can provide you with volunteer information.