Afraid to tell anyone you are pregnant…
Hiding your pregnancy?
We are here to help…
There is a life-saving option for you and your baby.
Every state has a “safe haven” law. Although they vary a bit from state to state, these laws make it possible for you to leave your unharmed newborn in a safe place – no questions asked.
In Missouri, effective August 28, 2013 a parent can safely surrender their unharmed newborn up to 45 days from birth, to a medical facility staff member, provider or volunteer, a firefighter or emergency medical technician, a law enforcement officer, with staff from a maternity home or a pregnancy resource center, without being prosecuted for abandonment and as long as there were no signs of abuse.
The Safe Place for Newborns Act requires no parent giving up custody of a child under this law to release identifying information about the child or parent and prohibits any officer, employee, or agent of the state from attempting to locate or determine the identity of a parent or disclose identifying information except in certain cases.
If you are facing a medical emergency and need immediate assistance, please dial 911.
Will I get in trouble?
No. If you choose to leave your infant in the care of Birthright, a maternity home, a health care professional, police officer, EMT or firefighter, you will not be in any trouble as long as it is within 45 days of the infant’s birth and the infant appears unharmed.
What happens to my baby?
All Safe Place babies are kept safe in a hospital setting until medically able to go home to an approved pre-adoptive home. Your local child welfare agency will monitor their care until an adoption is final.
Do I have to give any information?
You will be asked if you are willing to provide basic health information that will help us provide the best possible care for your baby. This is not required.
Do I have to give my baby to someone or can I just leave the baby at the door?
Please make sure that you hand your baby over to someone. Leaving your baby unattended can be dangerous and may not provide you with the anonymity and protection the Safe Place Newborn Law provides you. The law does require you hand your baby to someone who can keep the baby safe.
What if I change my mind?
If you change your mind after leaving your infant, you can call The Missouri Department of Family Services for information about your baby.
You will be required to go through your local child welfare system to obtain custody of your infant.
Missouri Department of Social Services: dss.mo.gov/offices.htm
- To find a hospital near you:
- To find a fire station near you:
- To find a police station near you:
National Safehaven Alliance:
Safe Place for Newborns Act – This section of the bill modifies provisions relating to the Safe Place for
Newborns Act of 2002.
- Prior to the passage of this bill, the Safe Place for Newborns Act of 2002, allowed a parent to give up custody of his/her child, up to 5 days from birth, to a medical facility staff member, provider or volunteer, a firefighter or emergency medical technician or with a law enforcement officer, without being prosecuted for abandonment and as long as there were no signs of abuse.
This bill increases the age in which a parent may give up his/her child, from up to five days to up to 45 days from birth, and adds to the list of persons, who may receive the child under this law,staff from a maternity homes or a pregnancy resource center.
- Requires no parent giving up custody of a child under this law to release identifying information about the child or parent and prohibits any officer, employee, or agent of this state or any political subdivision from attempting to locate or determine the identity of a parent or disclose identifying information except in certain cases. (Sections 1, 210.950 and 211.447 RSMo.)
- Provides an affirmative defense to prosecution for the abandonment if a parent voluntarily gave up custody of a child to the persons listed under the Safe Place for Newborns law, when the child is less one year of age. This provision has not changed, however it was removed from section 210.950.3 and relocated to section 210.950.11.
- This bill also allows school districts and charter schools to provide 30 minutes of classroom instruction, annually, about the Safe Place for Newborns Act, to high school students enrolled in health education. (Section 1 RSMo.)
For More information about this Missouri State Statute go to
For information about Safe Haven policies in other states go to: