Safe Place for Newborns | Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Safe Place for Newborns

Pregnant? Afraid? Hiding your pregnancy? Don't panic—there is a Safe Place for your baby.

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

Safe Haven Law

On April 3, 2001, Wisconsin became the 14th state to adopt the Safe Haven law, now in effect in all states. This law states a parent may confidentially leave his/her unharmed newborn with any EMT, firefighter, police officer or health care provider in the state within three days of birth without fear of prosecution. This law is in place to help ensure that newborns that were not wanted or expected will not be discarded or harmed in any way.

Keeping Babies Safe

All Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare hospitals participate in the legislated Safe Place for Newborns program. The program means that any baby up to three days old may be left with a hospital employee—no questions asked. The employee (clearly identified by a visible name badge) should be told that the baby is being left with Safe Place for Newborns. The new law requires that the baby be left with an employee, not in a public or private location within the hospital setting.

It is preferred that women choose to deliver safely in a hospital to provide appropriate care and avoid negative outcomes. Therefore, an infant born within the hospital may be relinquished prior to or after discharge from a medical facility as long as it is within the 72 hour timeframe.

If you have delivered your baby at home or have left the hospital quickly after delivery, you should be aware of symptoms you may encounter that will require IMMEDIATE medical attention. If you or your baby are having any medical problems, call 911 immediately!

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