Being Placed with a Safe Haven Baby

A non foster family was shown taking a baby home from the hospital that had earlier been dropped off at a safe haven location. Here is a look at what really happens in those situations:

Safe Haven is the program which allows pregnant mothers to safely and anonymously bring the unharmed newborn baby (up to three days old) to a hospital, emergency medical service provider, fire station, licensed private child welfare agency, licensed adoption agency or any church in Arizona. The mother is able to leave the child in one of these facilities without fear of being prosecuted, save their baby’s life and give the child a chance to live a happy life.

If a Safe Haven baby is brought to one of these facilities, the child will be examined and given medical treatment if they need it. DCS (Department of Child Safety) will then take custody of the child and reach out to Safe Haven approved adoption agencies and tell them that they have a Safe Haven baby. Each approved adoption agency is on call for a whole month and on a rotation. If there is a Safe Have Baby, the agency on rotation for that month will get a call from DCS and get the opportunity to place that baby with one of their certified adoptive families who will provide the baby with a safe and loving home.

How are the adoptive families chosen? The family has to be certified as acceptable to adopt in Arizona, and each agency has a list of families that are waiting to adopt either a newborn or a Safe Haven baby. How each agency selects the families varies from agency to agency, some may chose the family who has been waiting the longest, while others may select a family who they feel will best meet the child’s needs. The family is then called and explained the circumstances of the placement and if they agree, they are able to obtain custody of the Safe Haven baby and take them home. The adoptive family will likely pay an agency placement/match fee (varies by agency) who will additionally assist the family with paperwork in relation to the adoption of the baby. After a few months have passed, the family is then able to finalize their adoption of the baby and form their forever family.

Some information was obtained from Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3623.01, Safe Haven for Newborn Infants.

Sussy Salazar
Agape Adoption Agency


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