Our Mission

The Save Abandoned Babies Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to saving babies from being abandoned in dumpsters and other unsafe environments. Our mission is to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns by raising awareness of the safe, legal options available under the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act. Our grassroots effort began in March of 2000 when our founder, Dawn Geras, read a newspaper article about a baby found in a Chicago dumpster. We quickly learned that other states were addressing this horrible and growing problem with “safe haven” laws. We went to work, calling on anyone willing to help. The Save Abandoned Babies volunteers drafted the law and lobbied for its passage. The resulting Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act unanimously passed both the Illinois House and Senate and was signed into Illinois law in August of 2001. The Save Abandoned Babies Foundation is now focused on telling birth parents in crisis that this option exists. Making information about the law available to those who need it will save innocent new lives. If you would like information on how to help either in Illinois or on the national level, please contact us!

Dawn Geras

Inspired by a newspaper article about a baby found in a dumpster, in 2000 Dawn Geras began her tireless quest to give desperate parents an alternative to unsafe abandonment and unwanted infants a chance at a happy, healthy life. At the time, Illinois was one of only 15 states that did not have a “safe haven” law allowing for the anonymous and legal relinquishment of a newborn child to a safe environment. With the support of a dedicated group of volunteers, Dawn spearheaded passage of the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act by the Illinois General Assembly, and the legislation was signed into law on August 17, 2001 (Public Act 92-408). She founded the 501(c)(3) Save Abandoned Babies Foundation shortly thereafter to raise awareness of Illinois’ Safe Haven law.   Dawn was recognized by the Illinois State Senate in 2001 and the Northbrook Civic Federation in 2002 for her efforts to ensure passage of the Illinois Abandoned Newborn Protection Act. She is the 2001 recipient of EverThrive Illinois’ (formerly the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition) advocacy award, the 2006 recipient of the Illinois State Treasurer’s “Woman to Woman: Making a Difference” award, and the 2014 recipient of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ “Women of Vision” award. In 2008, the Chicago Sun-Times acknowledged Dawn’s contributions by naming her one of the “50 People Who Make Chicago A Better Place.”   In recognition of its work to raise awareness of the safe haven law, in 2008 the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation was honored by Prevent Child Abuse Illinois with the “Program Excellence Award” and received special recognition at the March of Dimes’ Jonas Salk Health Leadership Awards Luncheon.

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