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TRENTON – Last month, two healthy newborns were brought to separate Safe Haven sites in New Jersey. These are the 75th and 76th Safe Haven surrenders since the law was passed in July 2000. Due to confidentiality statutes and the promise of anonymity for the parent/s, the state will not share publicly the genders of the infants or the exact dates and locations of the surrenders.  

The Safe Haven law allows infants up to 30 days old, free of abuse or neglect, to be anonymously surrendered to staff at hospital emergency rooms, police or fire stations, and ambulance or rescue squads. Once cleared by a medical professional, surrendered infants are placed into  an adoptive home through the Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Division of Child Protection and Permanency.   

“This is wonderful news to share during Child Abuse Prevention Month and at a time when information is typically focused on COVID-19,” said DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “Surrendering an infant is an incredibly selfless and courageous thing to do when life circumstances prevent the parents and family from raising the baby themselves. The Safe Haven law provides secure and accepting spaces, with people who understand and respect the sensitive nature of these difficult decisions.”

New Jersey has a statewide Safe Haven campaign with regularly updated materials to raise awareness of the law, particularly with young women between the ages 13 and 30. Beginning September 2020, New Jersey high schools will teach students about the Safe Haven law in health and physical education classes.

“The Safe Haven law saves lives,” said Carmen Diaz Petti, Assistant Commissioner for the DCF’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency. “If for any reason you cannot care for your newborn, don’t panic and do something that will hurt you or the baby. There are Safe Haven sites in every city and town prepared to help you. No shame, no blame, no names.”

New Jersey’s first Safe Haven surrender was in August 2000. These are the first two Safe Haven surrenders in 2020. For more information about the Safe Haven law, visit or call the Safe Haven Hotline at 1.877.839.2339.  

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