Baby Safe Haven
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If you are thinking about abandoning your baby in an unsafe place, please know that there is a better way. Vermont’s Baby Safe Haven Law offers you safe places you can give up your baby – anonymously and legally.
Vermont Children’s Aid Society, along with all Vermont’s fire and police stations, health care facilities, places of worship, and adoption agencies, has become a Baby Safe Haven.
Who can bring a baby to a Safe Haven?
You (or a person acting on your behalf) can bring your baby, up to 30 days old, to any Safe Haven in Vermont.
You can do so without fear of being arrested or charged—as long as your baby has not been abused or neglected.
What are Safe Havens in Vermont?
• A Safe Haven is any
• Fire or police station
• Health care facility
• Place of worship
• Adoption agency licensed in Vermont
• Place an emergency responder, contacted through 911, agrees to meet you to receive your baby.
Who do I leave my baby with?
To be covered by the law, you must hand the baby to a volunteer or employee of a Safe Haven. YOU CANNOT LEAVE THE BABY ALONE.
Do I have to call first?
No. You can walk in anytime. The only exception is when you call 911 to arrange to meet an emergency responder who will receive your baby.
What will happen to me?
Depending on where you decide to bring your baby, you may be offered medical help, counseling, or other support. You may accept or decline; it’s up to you. Once you have safely turned over your baby, you are free to leave.
What will happen to my baby?
People at VCAS or any Safe Haven will receive your baby, make sure he/she gets any needed medical care, and contact the Department for Children and Families (DCF). DCF will place the baby in a pre-adoptive home, start the legal procedures required to terminate parental rights, and then proceed with the baby’s adoption.
What if I change my mind?
If you decide that you want to care for your baby, call 1-800-649-4357. You will be referred to a social worker with the Department for Children and Families who will explain your options and assist you through the process. You must act quickly. Once a judge terminates your rights as a parent it will be too late.
Will I have to give any information to the person receiving my baby?
No, none is required. However, providing basic health information will help us provide the best possible care for your baby.
Is there a form I can use to provide my baby’s medical history?
Yes. A voluntary medical form is available in the Baby Safe Haven brochure. The questions on the form may be answered anonymously; you do not need to give your name. If you choose to complete it, we encourage you to leave it with the person receiving your baby. You can also mail it in later to the address below.
The Vermont Adoption Registry
103 So. Main Street, Osgood 3
Waterbury, VT 05671-2401
Can I provide more information about myself later?
Yes. Absolutely! As your life changes over the next 10, 20, and more years, you may decide that you want your identifying information (e.g. your full name, date of birth, and last known address) to be available to your child should he or she wish to contact you.
However, if you don’t want to make your identity known, you may still provide a detailed medical history for your child’s record. It is entirely up to you. To find out more, call the Vermont Adoption Registry at 802.241.2122.
What if I am not sure what to do and I want help?
Please call us at 1.800.649.4357 during normal business hours to get answers to your questions about the Safe Haven Law. Staff can also refer you to a public health nurse in your area who can:
• Help you find pre-natal care and transportation to pre-natal appointments.
• Give you advice about your options.
• Help you find financial assistance and other support if you choose to keep your baby.
• Refer you to an adoption agency who can help you make an adoption plan for your baby.
If this is an emergency, please call 911.