Wyoming's Safe Haven Law Provides a Safe, Legal and Responsible Option for Infants
April 23, 2020
During these very difficult and trying times for many families across the state, the Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) would like to remind new parents of an option available if they feel too overwhelmed to care for their infant.
Wyoming’s Safe Haven Law provides a safe, legal and responsible way for parents who have a baby they may be unable to care for safely.
The goal of the Safe Haven Law is to provide a parent of a newborn the legal ability to voluntarily, without repercussions, relinquish their parental rights so the child can be safely cared for and placed into an adoptive home.
According to Ed Heimer, field administrator and licensed clinical social worker with DFS, the parent(s) of a newborn baby, 14 days of age or younger, can relinquish the baby to a safe haven provider. Wyoming Statute § 14-11-101 through 109, defines a safe haven provider as any fire station or police station staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or any hospital with an open emergency room. Each provider must have staff on site with emergency medical training.
Relinquishing a child per the guidance of the Safe Haven Law is not considered an act of abuse or neglect, according to Heimer. “While we encourage the parent(s) to provide as much medical information and history as possible to help inform the baby’s future care, the process can be done in complete anonymity,” he said.
For more information, please contact your local DFS office. Contact information can be found at http://www.dfs.wy.gov.