You may have seen the symbol posted on highways around the country.
It lets mothers of new babies know where they can safely relinquish their baby if they are panicking.
“Safe havens” for babies have now saved 4,014 babies!
Each year across the U.S, babies are abandoned, and if the baby isn’t left in a safe place and isn’t found quickly, the result is often death. Babies have been found in the woods, in parking lots, behind buildings. In the 1990s, if the parent could be located, he or she could be prosecuted for neglect or abandonment.
In response to these incidents, laws were passed to allow parents to relinquish custody of unharmed newborn infants without fear of prosecution.
Different reasons lead different new moms to abandon their baby and walk off, without telling anyone. Sometimes they’ve hidden their pregnancy from family, friends, even the child’s father, not sure what to do. Sometimes the mother is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and is hoping for a change in the relationship with the baby’s father. Sometimes they don’t get the reaction they hoped for when they tell father that he’s about to have a baby. They feel overwhelmed, scared, with no support. Time passes as they try to decide what to do. Sometimes they’ve withheld the news of their pregnancy from the father until the moment the baby is born, and if the response is anger or rejection or abandonment, they can panic, and leave their baby anywhere.
While “save havens” vary by state, they include police stations, hospitals, and fire stations in all 50 states. The safe haven provides care for the baby until an adoptive family is found.