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Safe Place for Newborns

The Safe Place for Newborns law provides an anonymous alternative for mothers to safely give up their newborns. Mothers, or someone with their permission, may leave unharmed newborns, no more than 7 days old, with an ambulance dispatched in response to a 9-1-1 call, or at a hospital or health care facility that provides urgent care. Medical staff will give shelter, health care and aid to the newborn. The law does not apply if newborns are born in a hospital, have been harmed or are over 7 days old.

Safe Place for Newborns law

In response to tragedies involving abandoned infants, Minnesota enacted the Safe Place for Newborns law in 2000, providing a safe, anonymous alternative for mothers to legally leave their newborns in the care of others. The law was amended in 2012, expanding the number of safe places and lengthening the window of time in which women have the option to leave their newborns under the protection of the law. 

The purpose and mission of the Safe Place for Newborns law is to save the lives of newborns in danger of abandonment and to help preserve the health and future of mothers.

Exceptions to the law

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 would no longer be possible at that point. 

If newborns are of American Indian descent, agencies are directed to contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services at 651-431-4661 or DHS.ICWA.MIFPA@state.mn.us.

Frequently asked questions about the Safe Place Law

Safe Place for Newborns resources

Information about the Safe Place law is available in the resources below. 

Adoption resources

Learn more about adoption options. 

Parenting resources

Thinking about parenting and looking for resources? 

Visit the following resources:

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