WV: A Safe Haven State


Many do not realize that West Virginia has a Safe Haven Law in place, which allows babies who are less than 30 days old to be left at a Safe Surrender location. Examples of these locations include hospitals, health facilities, and fire departments, which are staffed 24/7. The goal of this law is to prevent illegal abandonment of newborn babies. This surrender can be done legally, safely, and anonymously by the baby's mother as a last resort, if she decides that she can no longer care for her baby.

In March of 2023, West Virginia became one of fifteen states to legalize the use of Safe Haven Baby Boxes at Safe Surrender locations.

Fast forward to October 2023. The St. Albans, West Virginia fire department, which is a Safe Surrender location, has endeavored to install a Safe Haven Baby Box. If the fire department successfully raises the funds, it will be home to the first Safe Haven Baby Box in the state. The baby box option allows for the baby to be anonymously placed in a device at the Safe Haven facility. Alarms are triggered to alert staff that a baby has been placed in the box. If someone at the facility does not respond in a matter of minutes, 911 is called, ensuring the safety and protection of the baby.

"The Safe Haven Baby Boxes organization's primary goal is to raise awareness of the Safe Haven Law. Women in crisis can call the national 24-hour hotline and can receive counseling and assistance free of charge. To date, the hotline has received over 9,000 calls from every state in the United States. Safe Haven Baby Boxes has referred over 500 women to crisis pregnancy centers, assisted in 9 adoption referrals, and have had over 140 legal Safe Haven surrenders. Thirty-Six babies have been surrendered in our Baby Boxes."

Crisis Line - Call or Text 1-866-99BABY1

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