Two healthy newborns were surrendered at Safe Haven sites in New Jersey so far this year—one in January and one in February, the Department of Children and Families officials report.

Due to confidentiality statutes, the state will not publicly share the infants’ gender or the exact dates and locations of the surrender.

New Jersey’s Safe Haven Law took effect in August 2000 to provide a safe alternative to abandonment that allows parents to maintain their anonymity. The law allows infants up to 30 days old, free of abuse or neglect, to be anonymously surrendered to staff in hospitals, police stations, fire stations, and ambulance or rescue squads.

NJ Safe Haven hotline via NJ DCF
NJ Safe Haven hotline via NJ DCF

Mothers choosing to leave their infants behind at a hospital after giving birth were included under a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy to expand the Safe Haven Law, giving new moms a much easier and more accessible option.

Once cleared by medical professionals, surrendered babies are eligible for adoption through the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

“Some new parents are just not ready for the challenges of raising a newborn. Difficult life circumstances or situations may hinder a new parent from wanting or being able to care for a newborn safely. That’s why our Safe Haven locations across the state allow for secure, anonymous, judgment-free drop-off and an assurance that the infant will be placed with a licensed adoptive family,” said DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer.

NJ Safe Haven Law DCF via Youtube (2)
(NJ DCF via Youtube )

Eight newborns were surrendered in 2023, the second-highest year for surrenders in New Jersey. In 2006, ten newborns were surrendered.

Since 2020, New Jersey high schools have been teaching students about the Safe Haven law in health and physical education classes. In addition, Gov. Murphy signed legislation designating September of every year as “Safe Haven Awareness Month.”

Since the law was signed, there have been 92 Safe Haven surrenders in New Jersey. For more information, visit or call the Safe Haven Hotline at 1-877-839-2339.

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Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

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