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 Brown Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served…

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia 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 with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003.

Cynthia has handled a wide variety of family law matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child protective services, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders. Many of her clients have also asked her to provide guidance concerning their estate planning needs.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor, public defender and criminal investigator. In addition to her family practice, Cynthia routinely represents clients facing criminal charges such as DWI, assault, theft and criminal sexual misconduct.

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, ATV riding and spending time with family.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Child Protective Services
  • Restraining Orders
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Bar Admission
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1998
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 1998
  • University of South Dakota, 1995
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Panel Attorney, Anoka County County Family Law Clinic
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper
  • Author, Family Law Forum
  • Author, Divorce Magazine