Safe Place for Newborns information for medical staff
Medical staff are required to take in a newborn under the Safe Place for Newborns law as long as the newborn seems to be within 7 days old and unharmed. Staff in these situations are instructed to do the following:
- Do not call the police. Do not try to identify mothers or those acting with the mothers’ permission.
- Arrange for immediate medical care of newborns once surrendered.
- Inform the responsible county agency within 24 hours of receiving newborns.
If a newborn is dropped off at a hospital, hospital staff should complete the Birth Registration for Foundlings and Newborns Left at the Hospital (PDF) form and the Documentation of Birth work sheet (PDF).
The Safe Place for Newborns law does not apply if mothers give birth in a hospital, as a hospital delivery creates a vital record, and anonymity is no longer possible at that point. If the newborn is of American Indian descent, provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act will apply and counties will contact the nearest tribal social service office to identify the child’s family.