SAFE PLACE FOR NEWBORNS
Several cases of infanticide have occurred in Minnesota in recent years. To prevent such tragedies, Minnesota enacted the Safe Place for Newborns law in 2000 and expanded the program in 2012 at the urging of MCCL. The law provides a needed alternative for mothers who may be at risk of harming or abandoning their newborn child.
The Safe Place for Newborns program allows a mother, or someone acting with the permission of the mother, to surrender a newborn anonymously, no questions asked, under the following conditions:
The newborn baby is relinquished to a hospital employee at any hospital in Minnesota, a health care provider who provides urgent care services, or an ambulance service dispatched in response to a 911 call from the mother or a person with the mother's permission;
The newborn is no more than 7 days old;
The baby is unharmed.
After the baby is surrendered, personnel at the “safe place” immediately begin arrangements for care for the child. Since 2000, dozens of children have been relinquished under the Safe Place program. It serves as a last resort for mothers who feel desperate—and for their babies.
Information about this lifesaving option should be widely disseminated across Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Human Services has produced a website, fact sheet, and poster display that can be distributed and posted in schools and other places. You can also find the program on Facebook.