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Healthy Infant Surrendered to Safe Haven Site
State celebrates law’s 20th Anniversary

TRENTON – Last month, a healthy newborn was brought to a Safe Haven site in New Jersey. This is the 77th Safe Haven surrender since the law was signed. Due to confidentiality statutes and the promise of anonymity for the parent/s, the state will not share publicly the gender of the infant or the exact date and location of the surrender.

The Safe Haven law became effective in August 2000. It 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.

“There really is no better way to commemorate this 20-year milestone than with a healthy surrender, particularly in the midst of a pandemic,” said DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “We want people to know that Safe Havens are open and following all recommended and necessary safety guidelines. The Safe Haven law provides reliable 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 this September, 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. “We are thankful to the parents who have made the incredibly selfless and courageous decision to surrender their infants when life circumstances prevented them from raising the baby themselves. There are Safe Haven sites in every city and town prepared to help. No shame, no blame, no names.”

This is the third Safe Haven surrender in 2020. There were two in March. For more information about the Safe Haven law, visit or call the Safe Haven Hotline at 1.877.839.2339.  

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