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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 law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. for compassionate, nonjudgmental legal service. Reach out at your earliest convenience to learn how we can help.