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Idaho Safe Haven Act: Assuring the Safety of Abandoned Infants


As of July 1, 2001, the Idaho Safe Haven Act protects abandoned infants. This law is intended to provide a safe alternative for parents who otherwise might abandon their babies.

A safe haven is authorized by law to accept a baby less than 30 days of age, directly from a parent, without identifying the parent. The parent is not required to provide any information to the safe haven, but may volunteer medical or other information. The parent remains anonymous and will not be prosecuted for child neglect or abandonment.

The law specifically identifies the following safe havens:
  • Emergency medical personnel, when responding to a 911 call requesting a safe haven;
  • Licensed physicians and staff working at the physician’s office or clinic;
  • Advanced practice professional nurses, including certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and registered nurse anesthetists;
  • Licensed physician assistants;
  • Hospitals licensed in Idaho. 

The safe haven will:

  • Accept the baby from the parent;
  • Make certain the baby receives necessary medical attention;
  • Immediately contact law enforcement. Law enforcement will establish emergency protective custody of the baby and contact the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, which will provide an emergency home and prepare and file a Certificate of Live Birth Foundling with theVital Statistics Unit;
  • Not ask the parent’s name, but may ask the parent if they wish to provide medical or other information about the baby.

More Information

  • Idaho CareLine, 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588;
  • Health and Welfare child protection, 208-334-5700;
  • Read the law here or call the Legislative Services Office, Room 108, State Capitol, Boise, Idaho 83720-0054, 208-334-2475 for copies;
  • Download the brochure: English