Safe Haven - Abandoned Infant Protection
"The Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act" became effective on July 27, 2004. This Act adds police stations to the already approved safe havens that accept relinquished newborn infants. A newborn infant is defined as a child that is determined, by a licensed physician, to be 7 days old or less when it is relinquished. If there is no evidence of abuse or neglect of the newborn infant, the relinquishing person has a right to leave the police station and not be pursued or followed. The officer accepting the newborn infant must offer an information packet and if possible, must clearly inform the relinquishing person that his or her acceptance of the information packet is completely voluntary. The information packet contains the following forms:
- Illinois Adoption Registry Application
- Birth Parent Registration Identification
- Information Exchange Authorization
- Illinois Adoption Registry Medical Questionnaire
- Local Counseling Referral List
- Denial of Information Exchange Form
A new parent or parents can be under severe emotional distress. This at times leads to poor decisions regarding the newborn infant. There have been instances where newborns have been abandoned in an unsafe environment which causes injury or death to the child. We want everyone to know that the Bensenville Police Department is a safe environment where a newborn can be relinquished. The parent(s) can remain anonymous if they choose and avoid any civil or criminal liability for the act of relinquishing the infant.
After the relinquishment of a newborn infant to a police station, the police station must arrange for the transportation of the infant to the nearest hospital. A criminal investigation may not be initiated solely because a newborn infant is relinquished pursuant to this Act unless there is evidence that the child is more than 7 days old, or if there is evidence of abuse or child neglect.
For more information about the Safe Haven Law, please visit the following links: