"Safe Haven" Firehouse for Unwanted Newborns
This program has been implemented to ensure that parents of unwanted infants have a viable option besides abandonment of the newborn. If you have any additional questions regarding the 'Safe Surrender Baby' program please call Shelby County Safe Haven 24-hour Hotline at
FH #1 : 128 N Main Street
FH #2 : 391 Old Byhalia Road
FH #3 : 1241 Peterson Lake Road
FH #4 : 2823 Houston Levee Road
FH #5 : 4280 S. Houston Levee Road
What is the Tennessee Safe Haven Law?
It is a law that allows a mother to give up her newborn baby confidentially and without being prosecuted for abandonment.
How does the law work?
Any mother who feels she cannot or will not care for her newborn baby can bring the baby (3 days old or younger) to any 24-hour staffed Fire Station, Police Station, Hospital, Birthing Center, Community Health Clinic (health department), or walk-in clinic and hand her baby to a health care worker or employee. The mother does not have to give her name or any other information
What happens to the baby?
The baby will be given any needed medical treatment and admitted to the hospital. After a hospital stay, the Department of Children's Services takes custody and finds an adoptive family
Will the mother be reported to police or her parents?
No, As long as the baby is unharmed, 3 days old or less, and brought to a designated facility, the mother will not be reported
What if the mother is a minor?
Any female can give up her unwanted baby under the law no matter how old she is; the process is safe, legal and confidential. If she is a minor, her parents will not be contacted
Will the mother have to give information or her name?
The firefighter might ask for information but the mother is not required to answer any questions. The mother can give information such as medical history. Any information will be given only to Department of Children Services (DCS) and the adoptive family and the mother's confidentially will still be protected.
Can someone other than the mother bring the baby to a Safe Haven location?
No, the mother must bring the baby in herself. She can have someone with her but she must be present.
Can a mother keep her baby or give the baby up for adoption?
Yes! A mother can keep her baby or go through the adoption process. The Safe Haven Law is an option for someone who feels she has no other choice except to hide her baby. It is a safe and legal alternative to abandoning the baby in an unsafe place in order to keep the pregnancy and birth a secret.
What if the mother changes her mind and wants her baby back?
The mother needs to make contact with Department of Children Services (DCS) within 30 days or she may lose her rights to her baby.
What if I have other questions about the Safe Haven Law?
Contact the Shelby County Safe Haven 24-hour Hotline at 1-877-768-3473