As a mother looking to place her newborn for adoption, you may have come across an adoption process called a “safe haven baby adoption.” But, what exactly does this mean?
Safe haven baby adoptions in South Carolina allow a new mother to relinquish custody of her child 60 days old or younger at a designated location without facing legal charges of child abandonment. Like many states, South Carolina enacted these “safe haven” laws to prevent the tragedies that stem from child abandonment cases — giving new mothers a chance to safely turn over custody of their baby rather than go to unsafe extremes. The South Carolina baby safe haven adoption law is known as “Daniel’s Law,” named for an infant boy who survived after being buried in a landfill soon after his birth.
If you are overwhelmed with the responsibilities of new motherhood, know that you do have options to provide a safe, healthy life and loving family for your child. Our professionals can discuss those options with you for free and confidentially when you contact our law firm. We encourage you to take the time to explore these options before deciding what is best for the safety of your child.
How Does a Safe Haven Baby Adoption Work?
Any child 60 days old or younger can be placed for adoption through Daniel’s Law. A mother will be protected from child abandonment charges, as long as the child has not been harmed. A safe haven baby adoption can be completely anonymous.
If you are considering placing a baby for a safe haven adoption in South Carolina, there are a few things to know:
- If your child is no more than 60 days old, you can leave your infant at a safe haven location: a hospital, law enforcement agency, fire station, emergency medical station or staffed house of worship. You must make sure the location is staffed, because you must leave your child in the physical custody of an employee. For the safety of the child, there is no such thing as a “baby drop off box” in South Carolina.
- You must express your intent to leave your child and to not return at all.
- While you do not have to identify yourself, the safe haven provider will inform you of the legal repercussions on your parental rights and try to obtain information about the baby’s birth father and medical history. While the law does not state you have to provide this information, for the safety of your child and to aid in their adoption, it is recommended.
After you leave your child, the safe haven provider will contact the Department of Social Services, which will take custody of your baby. Your baby will be placed in a foster home while DSS pursues family court action to free him or her for adoption. During this time, your baby will receive any medical care they may need.
Once the legal requirements have been met, your child will be free to be adopted. However, as the department’s caseloads may be large, there is no guarantee that your baby will be adopted right away like they would through a private domestic infant adoption with a law firm or an adoption agency.
Why You Should Consider an Adoption with Our Law Firm Instead
A safe haven adoption in South Carolina may seem like the best way to relinquish custody of your child if you’re overwhelmed at the thought of being a parent, but it may not be the best choice for your baby.
A private domestic infant adoption can give you the same anonymity of a safe haven infant adoption. The adoptive parents do not have to know who you are, and your personal information will always be kept confidential by our professionals. We believe adoption is a beautiful process, and we never judge prospective birth mothers for their choice to place their child with another family.
Choosing to place your child for adoption with an adoption professional also offers several other benefits:
- While your baby must be 60 days old or younger to take advantage of Daniel’s Law, you can place your child for adoption at any time, whether it’s during your pregnancy or months after you’ve given birth.
- You can choose and meet the family who will adopt your child, regardless of if you desire ongoing contact or not. When you choose to utilize safe haven laws, your child will be adopted by an unknown family in the foster system without your input.
- You can watch your baby grow up through open adoption communication. A safe haven baby adoption, however, gives you no future contact with your baby or even knowledge of where they are.
- You can talk to one of our social workers at any time about your questions and concerns during the adoption process and post-adoption. After your safe haven baby adoption in South Carolina, you will have no professional support for the emotional challenges you may face.
- Your adoption process will be completely free to you.
Even if your child is more than 60 days old, you can still give them a different future with a private domestic infant adoption in South Carolina. Adoption through a professional like the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson may provide you reassurance that you can’t get with a safe haven baby adoption in South Carolina. When you work with us to make an adoption plan, you will know that your baby will be placed in a loving, supportive home quickly and safely.
While it may be tempting to take the path that seems easier and quicker, taking the extra time to create an adoption plan with a professional can give you a peace of mind that you will not have with a safe haven baby adoption. To talk about your adoption situation and how we can help you with your adoption for free, please call us at 864-680-8038 or toll-free at 1-800-796-8373 or contact us online here.