The Houston Family Law Blog

'Baby Moses Law' Offers Safe Haven for Abandoned Newborns

It's always surprising to many parents that some mothers abandon their infants. Unfortunately, it was happening with enough frequency, and with fatal results, that the Texas legislature in 1999 passed the "Baby Moses Law" to provide an option to those who felt the need to abandon their newborns.

The law allows for a parent to leave a child at a fire station, hospital, or other emergency caregiver up to 60 days after the child's birth.

So how exactly does the law work?

There is very little that a parent must do to take advantage of this safe haven law. A parent can simply drop the child off at a designated location before the child turns 60 days old. Once at the location, you will be given a voluntary health history form, but never asked for your identity.

The history form is to help the child have a proper medical history for the future. It is completely voluntary and can be completely anonymous. It can be filled out at the safe location, or mailed in later with the included postage-paid envelope.

Under Texas' safe haven law, at no point will you be identified or reported to police. Your identity is then considered confidential, making it nearly impossible for others to determine that you have gone through this process.

Official drop-off locations can be identified by the yellow "Safe Baby Site/Sitio Seguro Para Bebes" sign:

Safe Baby Site

Once the child is at the location, he or she will be given any medical care that is immediately needed. Then within the next day, the child will be transfered to the custody of the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.

Soon after the DPRS takes the child, it will begin the process of legally ending the parent-child relationship and having the court name a legal representative for the child. Afterwards, the child is treated like any other under DPRS control and will be put up for adoption so that a parent with the resources to take care of the child can be found.

Related Resources: