When a baby is brought to any Safe Haven, personnel should:
- Take the Baby
If the baby appears older than 30 days or abused or neglected, handle according to normal police procedures.
- Offer Support
If the birth mother surrenders the baby, she is free to walk away, but always offer to connect her to medical care or social services. Explain that by accepting services, she will not give up her legal protections or anonymity, which are provided under the Safe Haven law.
- Don’t Ask, But If Someone Tells...
The law requires that you take the baby without asking questions. Whenever possible, hand a Safe Haven questionnaire to the person surrendering the baby and stress that mailing the pre-addressed questionnaire will not compromise the parents’ legal protections or anonymity.
Document any information that is offered voluntarily. Useful information includes:
- Physical or developmental problems the baby may have
- Parent information, such as race, age and medical history
- Baby’s birthplace and first name
- Any prenatal care provided to birth mother
- Get the Baby to the Hospital
The baby should be taken immediately to a hospital emergency room by patrol car, ambulance or first aid squad. All information shared by the birth mother or her representative should be reported to the emergency room staff.
- Call the Safe Haven Hotline
The receiving hospital is required to call the New Jersey Department of Children and Families' Safe Haven hotline at 1-877-839-2339 no later than the first business day after the baby is surrendered. Police staff may also call when a baby is surrendered to them at a police station.