Here are some FAQ’s about A Safe Haven for Newborns.
Questions about safe haven babies
Question about what is A Safe Haven for newborns
Who is The Gloria M. Silverio Foundation- “A Safe Haven for Newborns”?
We are a nonprofit 501©3 organization dedicated to eliminating infant abandonment, through education, prevention and community involvement. Through our “partnering efforts” in all 67 Florida counties, our public awareness efforts and the availability of our statewide multilingual 24/7 helpline. We are saving lives.
Why do we need A Safe Haven for Newborns and Safe Haven Laws?
Newborn babies are being left to die by mothers who believe, for whatever reason, that they have no other alternative. While no one can fully understand why a person would endanger a vulnerable child. Mothers or fathers who abandon a newborn child often believe that they have no alternative, and they are utterly and completely alone. Not all pregnancies are planned, not all women are ready to have a baby and may be confused and scared about what to do.
Safe Haven Laws allows these mothers or fathers to take their unharmed newborn (up to 7 days old) to a Safe Haven in Florida instead of leaving them somewhere not safe or doing something they might regret later. Safe Haven provides an alternative to a frightened girl or woman, who, in a moment of desperation, may do something drastic, destroying two lives, hers and her babies.
Does such legislation encourage abandonment?
No, it discourages unsafe abandonment and saves lives – leaving a baby at a “Safe Haven” is the last option and is a compassionate alternative to abandoning a baby to an almost sure death. The mother is encouraged to talk to someone even before the baby is born and is encouraged to either keep the baby or to go through the normal channels of the adoption process. She also is encouraged to seek prenatal care.
We believe – If one life is saved, all our efforts are truly worthwhile!
Do other states have similar legislation?
All 50 states have enacted some version of “Safe Haven” legislation. Information is available on our web site. Click here for Safe Haven laws in other states or call 844-767-2229.
How prevalent is baby abandonment?
There is an escalating crisis all over the world. Girls and women, with an unexpected pregnancy, no support, no resources are abandoning their newborn, often resulting in death. There are estimates that over 50 babies are abandoned every day in the United States.
What is the demographics of a person that abandons their baby?
The standard demographics of a person who abandons a newborn child is that of a teenage, underprivileged mother. However, our experience shows that this is a tragedy that crosses all categories of age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
Why would someone chose Baby Safe Haven?
It is a safe, confidential and legal option versus abandoning a newborn in an unsafe place which often result in their death.
By choosing A Safe Haven for Newborns:
– A child’s life is saved, allowing them to grow up to be all they can be.
– A mother/father is saved from a lifetime of guilt and criminal prosecution.
– The hopes and dreams of parents waiting to adopt are fulfilled.
Can’t we help girls and women before they get to this stage?
YES! We emphasis “Please don’t wait until your baby is born.” Anyone can call our 24/7 hotline 1-877-767-BABY(2229) at any time day or night. We hope that girls/women and those that care about them will call this number before they have their babies to prevent a crisis when the baby is born. We want mothers to realize that they are not alone, people care about them and that confidential help is available.
What is the Safe Haven 1-877-767-2229 Helpline all about?
It is absolutely confidential and no one will ever judge you.
- It is staffed by caring individuals who will assist you in your time of need.
- It is a statewide, toll free, multilingual, referral helpline and available 24 hours and 7 days a week (1-877-767-2229).
- It is for anyone who wants to know about how pregnant women can get the help they need, in addition to providing information about Safe Haven.
Do pregnant girls and women actually call ?
Yes. We receive calls every day. If you need help please call our Multilingual 24/7 helpline at 877-767-2229. All calls are confidential.
What are the ages of the girls and women who call?
We receive calls from girls as young as 13 and women as old as 42 years old.
Where can someone leave his or her baby under the “Baby Safe Haven” program?
The baby may be left with a worker or an employee at any (not just the nearest) Safe Haven location, which are; a hospital emergency room, fire rescue station, or emergency medical service station in the state of Florida.
- REMEMBER, THE BABY MUST BE GIVEN TO A PERSON AT A SAFE HAVEN LOCATION. That is the only way to ensure that the baby will be safe & well taken care of. Many Hospitals and all staffed 24/7 Fire and Emergency Medical Service stations have signs with our logo and helpline # posted outside of their facility.
Make sure you:
- Give the baby to a person who is wearing some form of visible identification that says they work at the place you are at.
- Tell the person that you want to leave your baby with “Safe Haven”.
- A person who leaves a baby at a designated “Safe Haven” with a person working at one of these facilities will NOT face ANY criminal charges and will remain anonymous.
- A person who leaves a baby at a place other than a Safe Haven location or leaves the baby in an unsafe place will face criminal charges.
- A person who leaves a baby at a designated “Safe Haven” location that is unattended will face criminal char
Why must the baby be 7 days old or less?
Because the first hours and days of a newborn’s life are the most vulnerable, therefore, more urgent. This allows a mother or father to make a constructive and life affirming decision for the infant and themselves. The option of directly placing the baby with an adoption agency is always available.
How can the “Safe Haven” location be sure that the baby is seven days old or less?
The law actually states, “A newborn that a licensed physician reasonably believes to be 7 days old or less.”
What happens to the baby?
- They will receive any medical services, if needed, either at the Safe Haven location or the nearest hospital.
- The hospital will contact a licensed child-placing adoption agency so that the baby can be adopted by parents who have been approved and waiting to adopt a child.
What happens to the person when leaving the baby with Safe Haven staff?
- The person leaving the baby is not required to answer any questions.
- No one is going to try to find out who you are.
- Staff at the Safe Haven facility may offer you medical assistance and ask some medical history questions (click here for form) that will be placed in the baby’s records, which may help answer future health questions.
- The person leaving the baby can ask for information about where they can get help for themselves.
- If left at a Safe Haven location, and with staff, they will not be charged with any crime and will remain anonymous..
Is it true that the police will not be called? What about child protective services or DCF?
The police and or the Department of Children and Families will not be called if the law is followed:
- The baby is unharmed
- The baby is approximately 7 days old or less
- The baby is taken to a hospital, fire rescue station or Emergency Medical Service station and given to a person who works there
If the parents follow these guidelines they will not be prosecuted for abandonment or neglect and will remain anonymous..
What about father’s rights?
This program does not change any present laws regarding father’s rights.
What if the parents change their mind and want their baby back?
A parent of a newborn infant left as outlined here and under the “Safe Haven” program may claim his or her newborn infant up until the court enters a judgment terminating his or her parental rights, which is approximately 30 days. A claim for the newborn infant must be made to the entity having physical or legal custody of the newborn infant or to the circuit court before whom proceedings involving the newborn infant are pending.
Who pays for the medical cost of the newborn?
Medicaid pays the cost of medical care for an unharmed relinquished newborn by virtue of the same laws that existed prior to passage of the “Safe Haven Law”.
I would like to adopt a baby left at a “Safe Haven”. Who do I contact?
We are not an Adoption Agency or Facilitator.
If you are interested in adoption call the Florida adoption information center at 1-800/96-Adopt and click HERE to:
– Learn more about the adoption process.
– View a list of “Safe Haven” licensed child placing agencies in Florida.
– See other helpful links.
Is “A Safe Haven for Newborns” and “Safe Place” the same program?
• No – Two totally different programs –
• “Safe Place” program is an excellent program for youth (under age 18) having problems of abuse, neglect, lost or in some dangerous situation with a drunk or unsafe driver or just wanting to talk to someone about a problem.
• “Safe Haven for Newborns” is a Florida law, that allows the placement of an unharmed newborn, up to approximately 7 days old, with staff at a Safe Haven location: any hospital, staffed fire station, or staffed emergency medical service station, with no questions asked, totally anonymous, free from fear of prosecution.
Can I start a chapter in my state?
Because we want to maintain the integrity of our life saving program, we do not have other chapters or branches. We are based in Florida and have volunteers all over the state of Florida and in other states as well. Please see how you can help by volunteering
Can I hold and take care of the babies?
No. All newborns remain under hospital care until they can released to a Private licensed Adoption agency who will place the baby with their forever family. Please see how you can help by volunteering.
Why is A Safe Haven for Newborns working, saving 2 lives, the mother and the newborn?
The lifeline of our organization is our 24/7 multilingual, confidential, referral helpline. We treat every pregnant girl and woman that calls for help with respect and kindness. We listen and respond to them with warmth, calmness and compassion We are never judgmental and all calls are confidential. We do everything we can to get them the help they need.
How can I help?
What if I have questions not addressed here?
If it is a crisis, call the 24/7 referral helpline: 1-877-767-2229.
All other questions email us at email@example.com.
Andrea Corn, Psy.D is a well-respected psychologist and we feel privileged to acknowledge her as a member of our advisory board. She can be reached at 954/942-3344 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org for consultations or to schedule a presentation. Click here to read a paper she wrote about infant abandonment.