Once you have given your baby to a hospital worker, police officer, or firefighter, you are free to leave. You do not have to give your name or answer any questions. No one will try to stop you or follow you unless you tell them you need medical care or counseling.
If you give your baby to workers at a police or fire station, your baby will be taken to the nearest hospital and will get a health exam and any needed medical care. The police will make sure that the baby was not kidnapped. The hospital will call the Department of Children and Family Services. They will contact an adoption agency to start the adoption process.
1. Medical history (optional)
If you want, you can fill out forms to give healthcare workers medical information about the baby. When you bring your newborn baby to a safe haven, these forms will be offered to you. You may fill them out there or you may take them with you and return them by mail, or get the forms later and still mail them back. You can also download the medical forms from the Illinois adoption web site called the State Central Registry. All information will be kept confidential. You do not have to give your name, and you can still make sure your baby grows up with a medical history.
You can also call the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation at (312) 440-0229 from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M to give confidential information about the baby.
2. DCFS will find the legal father
DCFS will search the Putative Fathers' Registry to find the father after a newborn baby has been given up under the Safe Haven Law. DCFS will notify any potential father discovered in the search.
Illinois law does not place a time limit for finding the missing father. But the law does say that at least one search of the Putative Father Registry must be done at least 30 days after the baby’s estimated date of birth, but a search may be done earlier.
3. You have 60 days to reclaim your baby
You have about 60 days to reclaim your baby if you left it at a safe place. DCFS will do an investigation and you will have to undergo counseling.
After 60 days, DCFS will file a petition asking the court to terminate your parental responsibilities. You may ask the court to give your parental responsibilities back at a hearing. Your parental responsibilities are terminated when the court enters the adoption order.
More information about giving a child up for adoption under the Safe Haven law
Visit the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation website for more information on the law, adoption, and real life stories about parents who have dropped off their baby at a safe haven.