A Safe Haven

Safe Haven, also known as Protection of Children from Abuse and Neglect, is a Nevada law that allows a parent to safely surrender their baby if they can no longer care for him/her. As long as the baby is younger than 30 days old and has not been abused, the parent may surrender him or her without arrest or prosecution.

The purpose of the Safe Haven law is to protect babies from being injured or otherwise harmed due to unsafe and illegal abandonment by providing distressed parents a safe, anonymous option for surrender of their newborn baby.

Illegal abandonment puts the baby’s life at risk, and as a result, the parents are legally punished. Safe Haven’s goal is to prevent the baby from being harmed and for parents to have a safe and legal option to surrender their child if they cannot care for him or her.

A distressed parent who is unable to care for their baby can safely, legally, and anonymously forfeit custody. The only requirements are that the infant is younger than 30 days old, shows no signs of abuse, and is taken by the parent to a Safe Haven provider. Safe Haven providers include hospitals, law enforcement agencies, fire stations, and emergency medical services (EMS). Once the parent surrenders the infant, the parent is free to leave.

You can call the free National Safe Haven Alliance crisis hotline at 1-888-510-BABY (2229) to get the address of a Safe Haven location or to ask questions about the Safe Haven law.

No Blame, No Shame, No Names

parentsYou are not required to give any information to surrender a baby less than 30 days old. However, it is very helpful when providers receive medical/health information about the baby, the parents’ medical history, and the infant’s date of birth, race, and place of birth.

Sharing this information allows medical personnel or police to give adequate care to the baby. The information may be given anonymously through medical questionnaires available at the Safe Haven provider location.

If you don’t surrender the infant at a hospital, then the infant will be taken to the hospital for a medical assessment and medical treatment if needed. Within 24 hours, local law enforcement will be notified of the surrender to ensure that the baby has not been reported missing.

The local child welfare agency will also be notified so that they can find an appropriate home for the baby. The child welfare agency will take custody of the baby and they will then place the baby in an appropriate foster home. If a parent does not contact child welfare services then steps will be taken to terminate parental rights and place the child in an adoptive home.

If you want to regain custody of your baby, contact Nevada’s Child Welfare Services at 1-800-992-5757 for more information and assistance.

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