Louisiana Safe Haven Law

SafeHavenBillboard
 

Louisiana Right to Life is committed to protecting all life, whether
inside the womb, after birth, or in the golden years. That commitment
to all life is why we are promoting the Louisiana Safe Haven Law
through newspaper ads, billboards and social media.

The Louisiana Safe Haven Law provides a safe alternative to parents
who feel they have no alternative but to abandon, or worse, kill their infants.
It allows for parents to safely give up custody of an infant
up to 60 days old with no questions asked.

The Louisiana Legislature amended the Children's Code Articles 1101 and 1193
and Title XVII of the Children's Code, Articles 1701-1706, to provide
for the Safe Haven relinquishment of newborns in 2000. That code again
was amended in 2003 and most recently in 2013. The entire Safe Haven Law is contained in the Louisiana Children’s Code Chapter 13, Articles 1149-1160.

 Click here to be directed to the Louisiana Safe Haven website: www.louisianasafehaven.com

 

HOW IT WORKS

1. Go to the nearest Safe Haven facility (i.e. hospital, public health unit, EMS unit, medical clinic, fire or police station, pregnancy crisis center or child advocacy center).

2. Give the baby to an employee at the facility. Parents should tell the employee that they want to utilize the Safe Haven Law

3. An employee will offer the parent a card with a toll-free number, 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373), to call if the parent wants to give medical information about the baby or learn about their parental rights.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BABY?

The baby will be brought to the nearest medical facility for a health assessment and to receive any necessary medical care.

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will find a family to care for the baby. DCFS will begin proceedings to obtain custody of the child and safely and legally place the baby in a permanent adoptive family.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PARENT?

As long as the baby shows no signs of abuse or neglect, the parent will be protected by the Safe Haven Law and will not be considered guilty of a criminal act of neglect, abandonment or child cruelty.

WHAT IF THE PARENT CHANGES HIS/HER MIND?

The parent can seek to reclaim parental rights within 30 days by contacting their local DCFS office.

THE FOLLOWING ARE DESIGNATED SAFE HAVENS:

• Licensed hospitals

• Public health units

• Emergency medical service providers

• Medical clinics

• Fire stations

• Police stations

• Pregnancy crisis centers

• Child advocacy centers

If a parent is unable to travel to a Safe Haven facility, he or she may call 911, and a law enforcement officer or EMS provider will pick up the infant and transport the child to a hospital for a health assessment and to receive any necessary medical care.