Safe Haven Laws: Something We All Need to Know

Earlier this week, our hearts were broken as we learned of a newborn infant found dead and abandoned along the side of a road in Wheaton, IL. According to the Daily Herald, officials report that the baby had been likely left at this location for at least a day before being found. An autopsy was performed, but at this time investigators are still looking for additional information and hoping to identify the mother.

Not long before this incident, another abandoned infant was found about a month earlier on July 12th, in Lake County, Illinois by a nine-year-old girl. According to the Chicago Tribune, authorities say the baby girl was discovered in a very rural area, wrapped in black towel with her umbilical cord and placenta still attached. She had been born just a few hours prior, and was immediately taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point. Fortunately, the baby was given care just in time and she survived.

However, on March 13th of this same year, Illinoisans were both saddened and astonished to hear of another infant’s life that was lost. As the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune report, police found a deceased newborn baby boy in a college student’s backpack at the University of Illinois, Champaign. According to authorities, the student mother had given birth to the child earlier that day and allegedly suffocated the infant, for reasons unknown.

As we grieve the tragic loss of the children we have lost this past year, we first want Illinois mothers, who may be in need of support during or after their pregnancy, to know that we are here for you and your baby. Please, do not hesitate to call us. We can provide you with free and confidential support.

Furthermore, what many people do not know and should know is that Illinois has specially enacted SAFE HAVEN laws.  These laws allow a person to take their baby to any hospital, fire station, police station, or emergency medical service provider in Illinois and drop them off, NO questions asked and NO identification necessary (as long as the baby is unharmed), up to 30 days after birth. From there, the baby will be cared for and placed in a loving adoptive home.

The National Safe Haven Alliance is working to increase awareness about Safe Haven laws all across the country, in all 50 states. Their interactive map, which you can access here, provides information on all the Safe Haven laws for each state. You can also call their toll-free Crisis Hotline, available at any time, at: 1-888-510-BABY. Everything remains completely confidential.

Situations like these, where a mother feels afraid and alone or a baby is abandoned, should never happen. It’s important we spread awareness about these laws and resources available, so that future infant lives can be saved.