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Safe Delivery in Michigan: Providing Safe, Confidential Options for Newborn Surrender 

Navigating an unplanned pregnancy can be a challenging and emotional journey. For women in Michigan who find themselves in this situation and are considering their pregnancy options, it’s important to know about the Safe Delivery law. Safe Delivery provides a safe, legal, and confidential way to surrender an infant, ensuring the child’s well-being and relieving the mother of potential legal consequences. Similar laws have been implemented in many other states in the US. You may often hear them referred to as “Safe Haven” laws, or other similar names, but all of them have the same goal in mind: to help women safely and legally give up responsibility for a newborn if she is unable to care for the baby herself.

Regardless of your circumstances, we care about you and want you to know you are not alone. We are here to help and all conversations are confidential.

What is Safe Delivery?

Safe Delivery is a law designed to support mothers in crisis who feel unable to care for their newborn. This law allows a mother to legally surrender her baby, up to 72 hours old, to approved individuals without facing any legal repercussions or further responsibilities. For mothers who feel they cannot raise a child at this time, Safe Delivery can be a great alternative to adoption, as it provides a compassionate and legal way to ensure the baby’s safety and future.

How does Safe Delivery work?

A mother can give up her baby, who is up to 72 hours old, to a uniformed emergency service provider/employee who is inside and on duty at any of the following locations:

  • Hospitals
  • Fire stations
  • Police stations

A mother can also surrender the baby to any paramedic or emergency medical technician by calling 9-1-1

Those listed above are equipped to handle the immediate care of the newborn and ensure their safety and will take custody of the baby, providing necessary medical care and contacting child protective services to initiate the adoption process.

Will I be responsible for my child after using Safe Delivery?

No, after dropping the child off, your responsibility is transferred to the individual whom you leave the child with. This individual will temporarily protect the child and will begin the process of finding it a safe and permanent home.

Will I need to leave any contact info?

No, you will not need to leave any contact information if you surrender a baby under Michigan’s Safe Delivery law. The process is designed to be confidential, ensuring that the mother can leave the baby safely and anonymously without fear of legal repercussions. This confidentiality helps protect the mother’s privacy while ensuring the baby receives the necessary care.

Are there any requirements for Safe Delivery law?

When surrendering a baby, the child must be:

  • Under 72 hours old, 
  • Unharmed, and 
  • Brought by a parent who is not being forced to give up their child.

As long as these requirements are met, and you are in the state of Michigan or another state in which the Safe Delivery law (or “Safe Haven Laws”) are the same, then you may take advantage of Safe Delivery. 

What will happen to my baby? 

After a baby is dropped off to an approved location/individual, the following steps typically occur:

  1. Immediate Care: The approved individual (such as a hospital, fire station, or police station employee) who receives the baby will ensure that the infant is given immediate medical attention and care to ensure their well-being.
  2. Notification and assistance from DHHS: The receiving facility will promptly notify the appropriate child welfare agency, typically the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
  3. Temporary Custody and Adoption: The DHHS will take temporary custody of the baby and ensure they are placed in a safe environment and will assist with beginning the adoption process. The baby will then be placed with an adoptive family. The goal is to find a permanent, loving home for the child as quickly as possible.

Throughout this process, the anonymity of the mother is maintained, and she is not required to be involved in any way or to provide any personal information unless she chooses to do so.

Safe Delivery is a great option for preserving the life of a child. This law allows for a child to be left with a responsible guardian in a safe location with no repercussions to the mother. It maintains the mother’s peace of mind, and allows the child a chance to live a life with an adoptive family. 

If you are considering taking advantage of Safe Delivery or if you have any questions on pregnancy alternatives or related topics, please schedule an appointment with our team at HELP Pregnancy Aid: https://helppregnancy.org/contact-us/

For more information on Safe Delivery law, or to find requirements for locations outside of Michigan visit this website: https://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/find-a-safe-haven

Sources
Infant safe Delivery laws – child welfare information gateway. (n.d.). https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/safehaven.pdf 

National Safe Haven Alliance
https://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/find-a-safe-haven

Safe delivery. SOM – State of Michigan. (n.d.).
https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/faq/safe-delivery 

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