I’ve kept this pregnancy a secret. I’m ready to deliver.
You have hidden this pregnancy:
- No one knows you are ready to give birth.
- You’re afraid. You are feeling very, very alone.
- The thought of parenting a baby seems overwhelming.
- You don’t know what to do.
Don’t panic: There is help for you.
- Every state has a “Safe Haven” law. This law protects your right to take your baby to a safe place. This is a life saving option for you and your baby.
- You may anonymously leave your unharmed baby, up to 72 hours after birth, at a hospital emergency room, or at a staffed police or fire station, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, without fear of prosecution.
- You will NOT be asked to identify yourself.
- It is important that you act quickly so your baby can receive good care. If you are hiding a baby, you may be challenged to properly care and feed that baby.
- Your baby’s life is very vulnerable during the first few hours after birth.
- If you are having a medical emergency and need medical assistance, call 911. Tell the EMT you are considering “Safe Haven”. The EMT will then tell the hospital when you arrive of your wishes and the fact that you wish to maintain anonymity.
- You can leave a note detailing some medical family history as a gift to your child. (For example, a history of breast cancer so she can be screened and monitored early, history of heart disease, allergic reactions etc.) You can anonymously call
1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373) to give medical information about the baby or your family history to be used for adoption purposes. If you are at a hospital, they may ask if you need any medical care.
- When you leave the hospital, you will be given a hospital bracelet with a number on it identifying you as the baby’s mother. This system gives you information regarding the baby should you change your mind. You would need to contact Social Services who would then decide how to best proceed.
- The newborn will be checked out by the hospital to determine if he/she needs any medical care.
- The Department of Children and Family Services will be called and the baby will be placed in short term foster care with the intention of matching him/her with the gift of a forever family by adoption.
- If you are not able to bring the baby to a “safe place,” someone in your immediate family or the baby’s father can bring your unharmed infant to the hospital with your permission.
- In Wisconsin, this program is called “Safe Place for Newborns.” It exists to help young mothers realize there are caring people in their community who to want to help. Safeplacefornewborns.org
For all states you can call 1-888-510-BABY to get in touch with a safe haven through the National Safe Haven Alliance.