Tennessee Nonprofit and Safe Haven Law Work to End Newborn Abandonment

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Per the Tennessee Safe Haven Law, the nonprofit organization A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee assists the victims of unwanted pregnancies. Mothers can confidentially and safely surrender their newborns at numerous facilities without fear of legal prosecution.

The statewide nonprofit, A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee, per the Safe Haven Law, has designated facilities to assist the victims of unintended or hidden pregnancies.

Any Tennessee mother who wishes to surrender a newborn can do so at selected facilities without the fear of prosecution. Unwanted babies are protected under the law and cared for through adoption services.

More information is available at https://www.secretsafeplacetn.org/.

The 2001 Tennessee Safe Haven Law allows mothers to surrender their unharmed newborns within 72 hours of birth. The process is confidential and eliminates the state’s right to prosecute the mother for abandonment.

As a result, the law works to protect both mother and child from harm or legal pursuit due to an unwanted, unintended, or hidden pregnancy.

Mothers can surrender their newborns at the following facilities across the state of Tennessee: hospitals, birthing centers, community health clinics (health departments), outpatient walk-in clinics, 24-hour staffed emergency medical service facilities (EMS), 24-hour staffed fire stations, and 24-hour staffed police stations. A map of all facilities is available on the website.

A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee hopes to educate on the legal and safe process for mothers to surrender their babies privately and securely. The tragic death of a newborn due to abandonment by a young mother who was too scared to inform anyone about her pregnancy is what prompted the creation of the Tennessee Safe Haven Law in 2000.

By providing numerous convenient facilities to legally, confidentially, and safely surrender a newborn, mothers don’t have to fear legal consequences or adverse reactions from their communities, and babies will remain safe. These locations will always accept newborns who are unharmed and less than 72 hours old, with no questions asked.

Mothers of unintended pregnancies can rest assured that their newborn will receive the care and protection that they are not able to provide. Parents can bring others to support them, but it must be the mother who leaves the baby with the designated staff member.

After surrendering the newborn, mothers will receive a baby identification bracelet with an identification number. The mother or father have 30 days to reclaim their child if they choose to do so. After the initial 30 days, local DCS will start the process of placing the child into an adoptive family.

Through the Tennessee Safe Haven Law, the state hopes to eliminate the unsafe abandonment of newborns. Many unintended pregnancies result in abrupt abandonment by a frightened mother who has nowhere else to turn. The state encourages those who find themselves in this precarious situation to consult any Safe Haven Facility to ensure that their baby is safe and healthy.

More insight on the process of surrendering a newborn, as well as opportunities to volunteer with the nonprofit organization, or donate, can be found at https://www.secretsafeplacetn.org/

Contact Info:
Name: Kayla Ridenour
Email: Send Email
Organization: A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee
Address: 1133 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, United States
Phone: +1-865-254-2208
Website: https://www.secretsafeplacetn.org

Source: NewsNetwork

Release ID: 88956676