Safe Havens were originated in the 1990s due to the increase of babies being abandoned in unsafe places. Safe Havens are designated safe locations, usually police stations, fire stations, or hospitals for parents to drop off their newborns anonymously and legally – no questions asked. As a result, these babies will fall under the custody of the State/County and the birth parents’ rights are terminated. On the other hand, adoption may be the right choice for you and your baby. With adoption, there will be more services available and you will have a supportive advocate working for your wants and needs. Before making such a crucial decision, consider the important differences between safe havens and the alternative option of adoption.

Safe Havens

  • You can place your baby anonymously.
  • You have no control over your baby’s future.
  • Your baby will be placed in foster care.
  • Your baby could be subject to move in foster care several times.
  • The State/County will have custody of your baby.
  • Your parental rights will be terminated.
  • Support and counseling that you might need will not be provided to you.
  • Because your identity would be unknown, no assistance with transportation to appointments or referrals to other social services that you may need will be available.
  • There will be no updates or future visits with your baby.
  • You will not have on-going family information (medical, social, historical) and will not know how to reach out in the future.


  • You can select and meet the prospective adoptive family for your baby.
  • Your baby will be placed in a permanent home of your choosing.
  • All your rights and options will be explained to you in-depth.
  • You can consent to terminate your rights voluntarily.
  • You will have a social worker appointed to you that will work with you directly, not just on the phone.
  • Your social workers help will be free of charge.
  • You will have transportation to appointments and referrals to any other social services that you may need or request free of charge.
  • You’re in control of what kind of relationship you want with your baby.
  • If you chose an open adoption, you will be able to stay in contact with the adoptive family by letters and pictures and in-person visits if you wish.

Ultimately, we want children to be safe and in good care. But we also want you to be safe and in good care as well – mentally and physically. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and are worried about caring for your baby, continue to research your options. You have many options available for you to decide which is best for you and your baby.

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