Almost all states in the country have some form of Baby Safe Haven Law. For bewildered parents who may make drastic decisions, the law provides an alternative that can protect their privacy and spare them from criminal prosecution, no questions asked. A parent who may feel she had no way out and no choice about the matter may simply abandon the child in a place that is unsafe. With the Baby Safe Haven Law, she can leave the infant in a safe haven, where it can be kept safe and until custody of the child is assumed by the state through the foster care program.
Here are some pertinent details about the Baby Safe Haven Law:
– Location of safe havens. The law allows the parent to give the baby up in a safe haven. Safe havens include the hospital, police station, an adoption agency such as A Act of Love, a church or other religious institution or the fire station. The definition of “safe haven” may vary from state to state.
– Age and condition of the baby. The age of the child that can be left in a safe haven can vary from one state to another. Once the baby has passed that age limit, the safe haven law will no longer apply. The child should also be in good condition, which shows that the parent took care of the child until the time that he or she decided to abandon the child. If there are indications that the infant has been neglected or abused or if the infant is past the prescribed age, the individual who left the child will be detained and the police notified.
– Parental rights to the child. When the parent leaves the child in a safe haven, the child is considered to be abandoned and eligible for adoption. The child is first placed in foster care under such a time that he is adopted. In some states, the parent has a certain amount of time to change his or her mind and regain custody of the child. However, once the deadline has passed, the parents effectively lose their rights to the child.
Domestic adoption as an alternative
Aside from the Safe Haven Law, women who have an unplanned pregnancy have another option – adoption. She has the prerogative to choose to protect her privacy by having a confidential adoption or by working with A Act of Love Adoptions in a semi-open or open adoption. The semi-open adoption allows some form of contact while still protecting the birthparent’s identity. Meanwhile, an open adoption provides both parties (the parents who will adopt and the birthparents) with each other’s identity and contact information.
Choosing adoption provides a woman who may be very vulnerable, confused and scared with access to the support she needs. Working with an adoption agency allows her to have access to financial assistance during her pregnancy and delivery. This can include her daily living expenses and medical costs. An adoption agency may also provide her with counseling and assistance in making her adoption plan.
Adoption also gives an avenue for the birthmother to choose the parents for the child based on criteria of her choosing. The support provided by a successfully completed adoption can give the birthmother a strong foundation from which she can start to heal and move on.