Safe Haven Law
The Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee Help Line is: 1-866-699-SAFE. It is a confidential service.
The Tennessee Safe Haven law allows mothers of newborns to surrender unharmed babies to designated facilities within 72 hours of birth without fear of being prosecuted. As long as the baby is unharmed and the child is surrendered within 72 hours of birth, the mother -- or parents -- will not be prosecuted and is assured of complete confidentiality.
The law was enacted to reduce the number of unsafe abandonment of babies.
As of April 2015, 80 children have been safely surrendered in Tennessee since the law took effect in 2001.
Do You Have Questions?
- Call the Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee Help Line at 1-866-699-SAFE.
- To learn more about Safe Haven, please visit the website of an organization dedicated to spreading information about the Tennessee law.
One Baby's Story
In August 2014, a baby girl was surrendered at a firehouse in East Nashville and placed with foster parents. The Department of Children's Services began to photograph the child and foster parents immediately to show a child's progress from foster care to permanency. The baby's foster parents hoped to adopt her, but plans changed when the baby's mother reclaimed her child.
You can view the moving photo essay on the DCS blog.