Childbirth is a highly anticipated occasion for most Minnesota parents, but not all children are joyously welcomed into the world. Some newborns are promptly abandoned — and at this vulnerable stage of life, even brief abandonment can prove deadly. Thankfully, the state of Minnesota has enacted a program designed to address this issue. Known as Safe Place for Newborns, this option involves an anonymous alternative for mothers in need.

How Does Safe Place for Newborns Work?

Under Minnesota’s Safe Place for Newborns law, mothers can leave unharmed newborns at healthcare facilities within seven days of their birth. Mothers are also permitted to dispatch ambulances via 911 calls for this purpose. Upon receiving the newborn, the facilities are charged with providing appropriate shelter and care. The facility’s staff members may seek information regarding medical history in hopes of providing the newborn better care, but are otherwise charged with maintaining full anonymity. Upon receiving necessary care, newborns may be placed in foster care or eventually put up for adoption.

Eligibility Standards

Not just any mother qualifies for the Safe Place for Newborns alternative. This option is not available in the following situations:

  • The child is more than seven days old
  • The child was born in a hospital
  • The child has been harmed or abused

These standards are strictly maintained, in part, for the best interests of the newborn and in part due to anonymity concerns. With a hospital birth, for example, a record exists from the beginning, making it impossible to provide the anonymity that many mothers seek.

Whether you are looking forward to the birth of your child or require assistance in finding a solution for your newborn’s care, you can count on the Brown Law Offices for compassionate, nonjudgmental legal service. Reach out at your earliest convenience to learn how we can help.

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Photo of Cynthia J. Brown Cynthia J. Brown

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting…

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting matters settled fairly and cost-effectively. We’re certainly ready to litigate, but favor empowering clients to control the outcome of their case.”

Cynthia is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. She publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues.

Cynthia Brown was admitted to practice in 1998. After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced family law with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A., in 2003.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor and public defender. In the last decade, however, Cynthia’s practice has focused primarily on family law. She has handled a wide variety of matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, paternity, step-parent adoption, harassment and grandparent rights.

Cynthia publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues. She is a contributing author to the Family Law Forum, the quarterly publication of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Cynthia also writes a bi-monthly family law column for the Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, and monthly articles for Divorce Magazine.

Cynthia obtained her Bachelor’s Degree, magna cum laude, from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and her Juris Doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, beading and spending time with family. She and her husband, Jason, also an attorney, have two children.