Being a Safe Haven baby makes eight-year-old Riley feel awesome and strong. With much charm and confidence, Riley says, “When I first knew I was a safe haven baby, I thought, that was one special kid”. Cheryl, Riley’s mother, said she hadn’t heard of the Safe Haven Law until that one life-changing call she and her husband received while waiting to adopt a baby. Cheryl remembers, “They had a baby who was relinquished in Chicago at a hospital and they had called our adoption agency to place the child and we were chosen from our adoption agency to be that family. So that was my first experience even hearing about the Safe Haven Law which was enacted 9 years before she was born.”
Many people are unaware that if a parent of a newborn child in Illinois feels unable or unwilling to keep their baby, he or she can bring the infant to a hospital, emergency medical facility or police or fire station and legally and anonymously relinquish the baby. The baby will be given any needed medical care and then placed with an adoption agency for permanent placement with an adoptive family. More than 125 babies in Illinois have been surrendered safely in this way since the state passed the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act in 2001 to reduce the risk of a parent under extreme stress harming a newborn.
Hope’s Garden was started in the spring of 2017 by the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office. Since then, the garden has produced healthy and very needed produce for those in need in our communitites. Hope’s Garden is a collaboration between the Sheriff’s Office and Winfield Township Highway Commissioner, John Dusza. In fact, Commissioner Dusza, generously donated the land for the garden at the Winfield Township Road District.
CHICAGO, IL – A campaign is being launched by Illinois officials and advocates to promote the Safe Haven Law that allows babies to be turned over to appropriate safe haven staff, legally and safely.
“Baby Sunday” was born 10 years ago in the emergency room of West Suburban Medical Center. Her birth mother immediately handed her over to hospital staff under the Illinois Safe Haven Law.
She wasn’t unwanted for long!