Safe Haven

Easthampton Massachusetts Police
32 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027
Emergencies: Call 9-1-1
(413) 527-1212 Non-Emergency

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Safe HavenWhat is the Safe Haven Act?
The Safe Haven Act of Massachusetts (2004) allows a parent to legally surrender newborn infants 7 days old or younger at a hospital, police station, or manned fire station without facing criminal prosecution. The Safe Haven Act is an amendment to Chapter 119 of the Massachusetts General Laws, section 39½. The law became effective on October 29, 2004.

How does the Safe Haven Act define the following terms?
•    Newborn infant: a baby 7 days old or younger.
•    Voluntary placed, voluntary placement or voluntary abandonment: voluntarily leaving the newborn infant with an appropriate person at a designated facility.
•    Designated Facility: hospital (it is preferred that the newborns specifically be taken to an acute care hospital emergency department), police department or manned fire station; the locations stipulated by the Safe Haven Law.
•    Appropriate person: someone at a designated facility who is able to ensure that the newborn infant is safe; for example, the triage person in a hospital emergency department or duty officer in a police station.
•    Notification: An immediate notice to be filed with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on the voluntary surrender of the newborn infant.

When is the Safe Haven Act applicable?
When a parent voluntarily surrenders a newborn infant 7 days of age or younger with an appropriate person at a hospital, police department or manned fire station and there are no signs of abuse or neglect of the infant.


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