Are there Baby Drop Boxes?

What You Need to Know About Safe Haven Boxes for Babies, How to Use One and Where to Find Them

At the time of this writing, there are only 4 states that have Safe Haven boxes for babies:

  • Indiana: 47 baby box locations
  • Arizona: 6 baby box locations
  • Ohio: 3 baby box locations
  • Arkansas: 1 baby box location

Find those locations here. If you aren’t in one of those states and you need to surrender your infant, please contact an adoption agency.

If you’ve decided that you’re unable to take care of your baby, you may be looking to find a Safe Haven box for babies where you can safely, legally and anonymously surrender your child.

It’s a very serious, difficult decision to surrender your child at a Safe Haven baby drop-off location, and we know that you’re making this choice because you’ve exhausted all of your other options. We understand that you’re only doing this because you need to do what’s best for yourself and your child.

So, we’re not here to judge if you need to learn about completing a Safe Haven drop-off for babies. Below, we’ll answer questions like:

  • What is a Safe Haven baby box?
  • How does a Safe Haven baby box drop-off work?
  • What do baby Safe Haven boxes look like?
  • What happens to dropbox abandon babies?
  • Where can you find a safe haven baby drop-off box?
  • Why should you contact an adoption agency instead of attempting a baby box surrender?

Let’s get started.

What is a Safe Haven Baby Box?

These safe, soft, temperature-controlled boxes go by several different names. You may have heard them called:

  • An “abandoned baby drop box”
  • An “abandon baby slot”
  • A “baby surrender box”
  • A “surrender baby box”
  • A “Safe Haven baby drop location”
  • A “baby bin for abandoned babies”
  • Or, a “Safe Haven baby door”

They all mean the same thing: They’re a place where you can safely, legally and anonymously leave your baby if you feel that you must, instead of abandoning him or her in an unsafe location (which could make you criminally liable for serious offenses like child endangerment, abandonment and neglect). But, these boxes don’t look like a regular box.

What Does a Safe Haven Baby Drop Box Look Like?

You’ll know it’s a Safe Haven location because of the sign outside of the building that usually looks something like this. Seeing that sign means that the location (usually an emergency services building like a hospital, fire station or police station) is a protected place where you can safely, legally and anonymously leave your baby, either inside with an employee or outside in a special “abandoned baby box,” called a Safe Haven Baby Box.

These “boxes” aren’t literally a box placed out front. They’re usually a kind of drawer that slides out from the front of the building, and it usually looks like this. You open the Safe Haven baby drawer, place your baby inside and then slide the drawer back in to close it. A silent alarm is then triggered, which alerts staff members that a baby is inside the box. Here’s what happens when you use one of the drawers:

How Do Safe Haven Baby Boxes Work?

The boxes themselves are impressive. They are cushioned and temperature controlled to keep your baby safe and comfortable, and they have a pressure-activated sensor. When you place your baby inside and close the drawer, it slides back into the building, so your baby is safe and inside the building. When that drawer is closed, it locks and a silent alert is instantly sent to an employee in the building, who will then come to take care of your baby.

For those still wondering, “How does a Safe Haven baby box work?” don’t worry. There will be Safe Haven baby box instructions on the drawer itself, so you’ll know how to use it if you need to.

Again, don’t worry about your baby’s safety inside the box: These aren’t just a regular box. The safe baby haven drawer is specially made to keep your baby safe and comfortable until an employee comes to get him or her, usually within just a few minutes. It’s 100% anonymous to surrender a baby through one of these boxes, and it’s always legal to leave your baby in one of these baby boxes for abandoned newborns.

Where Can I Find a Safe Haven Baby Box Near Me?

You can find the nearest baby Safe Haven location using this map. Remember: Most states do not have the baby boxes, but they still have buildings that are Safe Havens — you just need to go inside of the building and surrender your infant to someone on staff.

If you’re online, searching, “safe baby haven near me,” and you’re unable to find a location in your area, contact a private national adoption agency right now. They’ll be able to send waiting adoptive parents to your location within a matter of hours.

Remember: It’s illegal to abandon a baby unless you surrender him or her at a registered Safe Haven location. If you can’t find a Safe Haven location in your area, you’ll need to contact a private adoption agency to surrender your baby safely and legally.

If your nearest Safe Haven location does not have a baby box, do not leave your infant outside of the building! You can still surrender your infant at any Safe Haven location, even if they don’t have a box, but you’ll need to go inside of the building and surrender your child to an employee on duty.

What Happens to My Baby After I Put Them in a Baby Box for Abandoned Babies?

Once an employee at the Safe Haven location collects your baby from the drawer (usually within a few minutes after you leave), he or she is examined by a medical professional and then is placed into foster care. Children in foster care will be placed with a temporary foster family or into a permanent adoptive family. However, that process can take months or even years.

For this reason (and for many others), it’s always best if you contact a private adoption agency instead of leaving your baby in a drop box or at a Safe Haven location! You will never get in trouble for placing your infant for adoption through an agency, and you will be protected from the legal consequences of abandoning your infant someplace unsafe.

Why Should I Call an Adoption Agency Instead of Leaving My Baby in a Box?

First: Leaving your baby in one of these boxes may not be an option for you. Your state may not have Safe Haven baby boxes. However, all 50 states do have Safe Haven laws, which means that you can still leave your child at a registered Safe Haven location without any negative consequences for you.

Please note: You are not protected by Safe Haven laws if you leave your infant anywhere other than a Safe Haven location! Abandoning an infant outside of a Safe Haven means that you could be criminally liable for child endangerment, abandonment and neglect.

In this situation, you must call an adoption agency immediately!

Second: Although it’s legal to leave your baby in one of these boxes or inside of a Safe Haven location, it’s never the best option. The best option (if you’ve already decided that you must surrender your baby) is to contact an adoption agency right now. Here’s why:

  • It’s 100% free, easy and confidential to place your baby for adoption through a private adoption agency. They’re available 24/7, so call now.
  • An adoption agency will place your baby directly into a safe, loving and permanent adoptive family. You can even choose this family yourself, and stay in touch with them, if you like.
  • Your child will never enter foster care when you contact an agency. Your child will immediately be placed into a waiting, permanent family.
  • You won’t have to worry about your child’s safety inside of one of the boxes, because you can place your baby directly into the arms of his or her parents.
  • It’s still 100% free, confidential, safe and legal to place your baby for adoption, and it’s safer than a baby drop box.
  • It’s OK if you’ve been raising your baby for a while. You can still place your baby for adoption through an agency, even if he or she is several months old. Safe Haven laws only protect newborns up to a certain age, which varies by state. Adoption agencies can often place children as old as a few years.
  • An adoption agency can provide you with free services like: Medical care for you and the baby, an adoption attorney to complete the adoption legally and permanently, counseling to help you emotionally, financial assistance with your bills, groceries, housing and more.

So, the Safe Haven laws and baby boxes are a much-needed resource for parents who must surrender infants someplace safe instead of leaving them someplace where they could be harmed, or even die. However,  it’s always preferable to make an adoption plan through a professional, instead.

Would you rather leave your baby in a box, or place your baby into the arms of his or her parents yourself? Contact an adoption agency now to begin.