Louisiana Right to Life is committed to protecting all life, whether inside the womb, after birth, or in the golden years. That commitment to all life is why we are promoting the Louisiana Safe Haven Law through newspaper ads, billboards and social media.
The Louisiana Safe Haven Law provides a safe alternative to parents who feel they have no alternative but to abandon, or worse, kill their infants. It allows for parents to safely give up custody of an infant up to 60 days old with no questions asked.
The Louisiana Legislature amended the Children’s Code Articles 1101 and 1193 and Title XVII of the Children’s Code, Articles 1701-1706, to provide for the Safe Haven relinquishment of newborns in 2000. That code again was amended in 2003 and most recently in 2013. The entire Safe Haven Law is contained in the Louisiana Children’s Code Chapter 13, Articles 1149-1160.
The baby will be brought to the nearest medical facility for a health assessment and to receive any necessary medical care.
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will find a family to care for the baby. DCFS will begin proceedings to obtain custody of the child and safely and legally place the baby in a permanent adoptive family.
As long as the baby shows no signs of abuse or neglect, the parent will be protected by the Safe Haven Law and will not be considered guilty of a criminal act of neglect, abandonment or child cruelty.
The parent can seek to reclaim parental rights within 30 days by contacting their local DCFS office.
If a parent is unable to travel to a Safe Haven facility, he or she may call 911, and a law enforcement officer or EMS provider will pick up the infant and transport the child to a hospital for a health assessment and to receive any necessary medical care.