Expert Advice - Reasons to Prevent Child Abuse

Indiana Safe Haven Law

The Indiana Safe Haven Law enables a person to give up an unwanted infant anonymously without fear of arrest or prosecution. A parent, family member, friend, minister or priest, social worker or any responsible person may give up custody of a baby less than 30 days old to an Indiana:

  • Firefighter
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Paramedic
  • Physician
  • Nurse
  • Emergency medical technician
  • Or other person who provides emergency medical services

As long as there are no signs of intentional abuse on the baby, no information is required of the person leaving the baby. Any knowledge of the date of birth, race, parent medical history, child’s health or anything that would be useful to the child’s caregiver would be greatly appreciated.

Once the baby is examined and given medical treatment (if needed), the Indiana Department of Child Services will take the baby into custody through Indiana Department of Child Services where it will be placed with a caregiver.

Effective July 1st, 2018, newborn safety devices, commonly referred to as “baby boxes”, were approved for operation at certain locations throughout the state.

Distressed parents can receive counseling and get addresses and directions for any hospital, fire station or police station in Indiana by calling the Safe Haven Hotline, 1-877-796-HOPE (4673), or 2-1-1.

Parents can learn more by visiting the National Safe Haven Alliance website to get more information.

If you need more information about this or other parenting topics, call 1-800-CHILDREN.