As of August, 2021, 143 newborns have been safely relinquished under the Illinois Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act

*143 children have been safely surrendered at Illinois Safe Havens.   Of these, over 25% who initially planned to use the Safe Haven Law, when given the opportunity to talk about options, chose to make either an adoption or parenting plan.   Intervention matters.



      April 30, 2000 – SAB    volunteers release the first draft of the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act (the Act) and solicit feedback on the legislation from individuals and organizations involved in health, child welfare, and legislative policy in Illinois.

December 1, 2000 – After incorporating input from more than 30 individuals and stakeholder organizations, SAB volunteers approve a final draft of the Act.


August 17, 2001 – With Governor George H. Ryan’s signature, the Act takes effect in Illinois.


April 4, 2003 – Governor Rod Blagojevich proclaims April 4 to be the first “Save Abandoned Babies Day” in Illinois.


      July 27, 2004 – Police stations, defined as municipal police stations          or county sheriff’s offices, become Safe Haven drop-off locations (PA        093-0820).


January 1, 2006 – The “sunset clause” is repealed, making the Act a permanent fixture of Illinois (PA 094-0207).

June 6, 2006 – The timeframe for relinquishing an unharmed newborn is extended from 72 hours to seven days postpartum (PA 094-0941).


      August 17, 2007 – Hospitals, fire stations, emergency medical                      facilities, and police stations are required to conspicuously post                  uniform Safe Haven signs in specified exterior locations (PA 095-0275). 


June 1, 2008 – Emergency medical professionals, employees, or other fire station, police station, hospital, emergency medical facility, child-placing agency, or Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) staff are expressly prohibited from publicly disclosing any information concerning the relinquishment of an infant (PA 095-0549).


January 1, 2010 – The time frame for relinquishing an unharmed newborn is extended from seven days to 30 days postpartum (PA 096-0345).

July 20, 2010 – DCFS and the Illinois Office of Vital Records are directed to design a standard information packet for relinquishing parents that provides a summary of the Act, explains the rights of birth parents, describes the Illinois Adoption Registry, and includes information on postpartum health for birth mothers (PA 096-1114).


August 11, 2011 – The definition of “police station” is expanded by designating public and private college/university police departments (when staff are present) and any Illinois State Police district headquarters as Safe Haven drop-off locations (PA 097-0293).


August 17, 2021 – Celebration of 20 years since the Safe Haven Law went into effect!   

Since the Illinois Safe Haven law was passed in 2001, 143* infants were brought to a Safe Haven. Another 87 were illegally abandoned, 51% of those did not survive.

Age 13–17: 9.13% Legally Black: 25.87% Illegally Black: 24.14%

Age 18–24: 29.13% Relinquished White: 51.75% Abandoned: White: 21.84%

Age 25–30: 12.17% Latino: 9.09% Latino: 20.69%

Age 31–41: 9.57% Asian: 0.70% Asian: 2.30%

Unknown: 40.00% Mixed: 2.10% Mixed: 6.90%

Unknown: 10.49% Unknown: 24.14%

*27.3% parents who initially planned to use the Safe Haven Law, when given the opportunity to talk about options, chose to either make an adoption or a parenting plan.