If you are a frightened parent of a new baby under 30 days of age and feel you cannot care for your baby, come to the emergency department at UPMC Williamsport, UPMC Lock Haven, UPMC Wellsboro, UPMC Cole, or UPMC Muncy. You may give your baby to one of our nurses and simply leave. We do not even need to know your name or address.
Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven law was passed in response to the tragedy of infant abandonment. The Safe Haven law is a safety net for both the mother and the newborn infant. Instead of abandoning a newborn to an almost sure death, it allows a parent of an unharmed newborn, approximately 28 days old or less, to leave it at a Safe Haven facility, which can be any inpatient hospital in Pennsylvania. Our emergency departments are staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and mothers can leave their infants in our ED with no questions asked, totally anonymous, free from fear of prosecution as long as the baby has not been harmed or abused. To find out more about Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven law, visit www.secretsafe.org.
When you give your baby to one of our nurses in the emergency department, you may give the nurse a medical history of your baby if you choose. We will also give your baby a check-up to be sure it receives medical care for any health problems. Then, we will get in touch with the county Children and Youth Services and one of their employees will come to the emergency department and see that your baby is placed in a loving, caring home.
Both you and your baby receive an identification bracelet with a confidential medical record number from our emergency department. This will allow you to contact Children and Youth Services if you want information on your baby after you have left your baby in the emergency department. Find a location.