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Protecting a Newborn Through the Safe Haven Law in Illinois

Question:  What is the time limit on a parent or parents surrendering their newborn child to a so-called “safe haven?”  Answer: Abandonment of a newborn baby is a prosecutable offense in the state of Illinois.  In 2001, Illinois passed the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act or Safe Haven Law, which allows parents of newborns to surrender the child within 30 days of their birth to a safe haven without being prosecuted. The law is intended to encourage parents to leave an unwanted newborn with a responsible party, rather than abandon the child, which may result in severe injury or death. Parents may give an infant to a hospital, manned fire station or other emergency medical facility. In such a situation, the surrendering parent(s) are granted anonymity.     For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit