How the Safe Haven law works in Texas

Althea Johnson is on trial for allegedly leaving her baby in a dumpster in 2017. There’s a law in Texas that allows parents to give their newborn up with no questions asked.

How the Safe Haven law works in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — Thanks to a Texas law, if you have a newborn that you are unable to take care of, you can leave it in a safe place with no questions asked.

According to Texas Health and Human Services, the Safe Haven or Baby Moses Law "gives parents who are unable to care for their child a safe and legal choice to leave their infant with an employee at a designated safe place."

These places include a hospital, freestanding emergency medical care facility, a fire station or an EMS station.

The Texas Department of State Health Services website states that the parents’ identity will remain confidential, and the baby will receive medical care and be placed with an emergency provider.

If you’re thinking about bringing your baby to a designated Safe Haven, please keep the following in mind:

  • Your baby must be 60 days old or younger and unharmed and safe.
  • You need to give your baby to an employee who works at one of these safe places and tell this person that you want to leave your baby at a Safe Haven.
  • You may be asked by an employee for family or medical history to make sure that your baby receives the care they need.

Within the realm of the law, if you leave your unharmed infant at a Safe Haven, you will not be prosecuted for abandonment or neglect.

For more information, go to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Baby Safe Haven, or The Baby Moses Project, or call the Texas Baby Moses Hotline at 1-877-904-7283.