What is the Arizona Safe Haven Law?


A recent news story is highlighting the need for increased awareness of adoption options, Safe Haven Laws and support services available for struggling families.

An hours-old Arizona infant recently made headlines when she was left in a carrier in the front yard of a Mesa home. Now, police are searching for the newborn’s parents, and the baby will be placed in the Arizona foster system.

“I feel so bad for [her parents] because they must be in a situation where they felt they couldn’t continue to keep caring for the baby,” says Roseanne McCulloch, the Mesa resident who found the baby in her front yard.

There are many circumstances that may make it impossible for parents to care for a newborn baby, and these parents often do not know what to do or where to turn for help. However, abandonment is never the answer — it is illegal in Arizona and can be extremely dangerous for the child.

Fortunately, there are alternatives for struggling parents in Arizona, including domestic infant adoption and the Arizona Safe Haven Law. With these options available to all parents in need, no child should ever have to be abandoned in Arizona.

What is the Safe Haven Law?

Under Arizona’s Safe Haven Law, struggling parents who do not want to make an adoption plan and cannot care for their child may leave their baby with an on-duty staff member at any of the following locations:

  • Hospital
  • Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Provider
  • Fire Station
  • Licensed Child Welfare Agency
  • Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Church

If you are a struggling parent and your baby is less than 72 hours old, you can take your baby to any of the above locations throughout the state of Arizona with no questions asked and no legal repercussions. It is safe for the baby and completely anonymous for you. To further explain how the Safe Baby Haven law works in Arizona, the Mesa Fire and Medical Department created this short, educational video.

How can I make an adoption plan for my baby?

Adoption is also always an option for parents who are not in a position to care for their baby. It is never too late to choose adoption, whether you are in the final weeks or days of your pregnancy, or even if your baby has already been born. Adoption is a loving and selfless choice that allows you to be proactive and choose the future you want for your baby.

If you have questions about placing a baby for adoption in Arizona, or if you want to begin the adoption process with an established Arizona adoption attorney, contact MyersStrickland for more information.

Other Resources

Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation – 1.866.707.BABY

National Safe Haven Alliance