Baby Safe Haven vs. Adoption
No birth mother is ever truly prepared to be pregnant, and that’s okay. Pregnancy is an emotional journey and not every birth mother is ready for the responsibility of a child. It’s understandable that a birth mother may feel completely overwhelmed and unprepared to take care of a child. This usually results in the baby being placed for adoption. Some birth mothers, on the other hand, utilize the Baby Safe Haven laws. These laws allow an infant to be dropped off at designated locations, encouraging birth parents to leave their child in a place they can be cared for instead of abandoned.
If you are pregnant, or a new birth mother, and feel like you need someone else to take care of your child, take a moment to learn about the differences between a Baby Safe Haven vs. an adoption plan in Arizona.
Baby Safe Haven Laws
There was a surge in the number of babies being abandoned in the 1990’s. Many of these infants died because of the isolated and unsafe places they were left in. The Baby Safe Haven Laws were enacted by many states in order to reduce the number of injured and deceased babies. As long as the baby had not been harmed at the time of the drop-off, the birth parent(s) would not be punished. It was hoped that these laws would encourage birth parents to give their child a fighting chance.
Although abandoning a child seems cruel, it may be the last resort for a struggling birth mother. Here are possible reasons why a birth mother would utilize Baby Safe Haven Laws:
- She didn’t know she was pregnant until going into labor
- Her living situation fell through
- She doesn’t have the financial stability
- Fearful that her baby would be harmed by an abusive partner/family member
- She changed her mind about taking care of her baby
Disadvantages of Baby Safe Haven
A birth mother wouldn’t carry her baby for 9 months and place him or her in an unsafe place because she wants to. Birth moms who utilize Baby Safe Haven Laws are likely to be in a crisis mode, freak out and don’t know what to do. They don’t have the time or resources to place their baby for adoption. This is just one of the many disadvantages of Baby Safe Haven Laws:
- The birth mother utilizing a Baby Safe Haven may not get the critical counseling she needs.
- The birth mother won’t have the options a traditional voluntary adoption will give her, such as choosing the adoptive family and deciding how much contact she’d like with her baby.
- The birth mother may not be able to provide medical information or be able to assist with questions the adoptive family has down the road.
- Baby Safe Havens do not give the birth mother time to be certain about her decision.
While the short-term outcome of utilizing Baby Safe Haven Laws may be positive, their long-term consequences are much less beneficial to both the birth mother and child.
While the Baby Safe Haven Laws have helped protect the lives of thousands of babies and birth mothers, there is another way to ensure the safety of both the child and birth mother. Facing a pregnancy, planned or unplanned, can be scary and overwhelming. That’s why we are here, to help. No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, or even if you’ve already given birth, adoption is possible. Choosing adoption over a Baby Safe Haven is a positive, healthy choice:
- Adoption puts you in control. When you drop your child off at an approved Baby Safe Haven location, you have no closure. You don’t know what happens to your baby, or where they will end up. With adoption, you can personally select the adoptive family who t will take care of your child. You will also be able to have as much or as little contact with your child as you so desire.
- Adoption gives you support and guidance. We will sit with you to create your ideal adoption plan. You’ll be able to freely express your wants and fears without judgement. Our adoption agency is here to help, and give you all the support you desire. You have a network of professionals behind your back, who care about the safety of you and your baby. We offer a variety of services that you won’t be able to receive if you choose a Baby Safe Haven.
- Adoption gives you time. As an adoption agency, our job is to help make your life a little easier. We help guide you in a direction that leaves you and your child in safe positions. Resources are available that can help you decide whether or not you’d like to take care of your child. Baby Safe Havens are designed to be fast and anonymous. It’s all-or-nothing. You can’t change your mind and take your baby back when you’re feeling better.
Baby Safe Haven vs. Adoption
The main priority is to make sure the baby is safe. If leaving your child at a Baby Safe Haven approved location is the best way to keep him or her safe, then Adoption Choices of Arizona trusts you to make that choice.
Your safety is also important. We want you to be both physically and emotionally safe. If you’re in crisis and worried about taking care of your baby, we urge you to call us so, together, we will figure out a plan to make sure you and your baby are safe and cared for.
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are an prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Meet the author: Sarah Aguilera, a Northern Arizona University linguistics and creative writing graduate, is an aspiring author with a passion for influencing others through written words. She has a healthy ardor for all things literature and is often found with a book in her hands.
When she’s not working, Sarah likes to spend her free time swimming, playing with her dog, going to concerts with friends and having crazy adventures with her family. Her love for her own family is what pushed her to join the adoption writing team. She looks forward to educating those hoping to grow their family through adoption.