Safety of Newborn Children Law

Safe Haven 24-hour hotline: 1-888-510-2229

In Washington State, a parent may anonymously hand over their infant within 72 hours of birth. You can leave an infant at any hospital, staffed fire station, or rural health clinic without fear of prosecution.

It is critical that you have a safe plan for your baby. Call the hotline at 1-888-510-2229.

The hotline team will help you with parenting support, temporary placement options, adoption information, and the Safe Haven process. We want to help you make a safe plan for your baby.

For infants who are more than three days old, there are other safe options. Please call the hotline or go to the nearest emergency room if you need adoption resources or help with temporary placement and/or voluntary placement in foster care.

Designated Drop-Off Locations

You must leave your baby with an on-duty staff member at one of the following three locations to avoid prosecution:

  1. Any hospital in the state of Washington. The emergency department of a hospital is open 24 hours a day and is the safest drop-off location.
  2. A staffed fire station during its hours of operation. You must leave your infant with a staff member. Do not leave your child if no one is there.
  3. A staffed rural health clinic during its hours of operation. You must leave your infant with a staff member. Do not leave your child if no one is there.

Qualified Person Under Safe Haven Law

A parent of a newborn who leaves their newborn with a qualified person at a designated drop-off location is not subject to criminal liability. A qualified person means any person that you reasonably believe is:

  • An employee, volunteer, or medical staff member of a hospital or rural health clinic during its hours of operation.
  • A fire fighter, volunteer, or emergency medical technician at a fire station.


Revised Code of Washington 13.34.360 - Transfer of newborn to qualified person/ Criminal liability/Notification to child protective services/Definitions.

Revised Code of Washington 9A.42.060-080 - Abandonment of a Dependent Person.

Revised Code of Washington 26.20.030-035 - Family Abandonment/Family Support.

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