About Safe Delivery
Michigan, like many states across the country, have stories
reported in the news media of newborn babies abandoned in dumpsters,
parking lots, car washes or public restrooms. While there are a number
of reasons a frightened or panicked parent may abandon a baby, this
newborn abandonment phenomenon led many states to look at how to prevent
such happenings from occurring, thus saving lives.
On June 26, 2000, Michigan enacted the Safe Delivery of Newborns law
with an effective date of January 1, 2001. While targeting desperate
parents, the law encourages the placement of their newborns in a safe
environment as opposed to an unsafe environment. This law allows for the
safe, legal, and anonymous surrender of an infant, from birth to 72 hours of age, to an emergency service provider (ESP).
An emergency service provider is a uniformed or otherwise identified
employee or contractor of a fire department, hospital or police station
that is inside the building and on duty .
Emergency service provider also includes a paramedic or emergency
medical technician when either of those individuals is responding to a
9-1-1 call. The parent has the choice to leave the infant without giving
any identifying information to the ESP. The ESP, upon accepting the
infant will provide whatever care may be necessary. Following an
examination at a hospital, temporary protective custody will be given to
a private adoption agency for placement with an approved adoptive
family, if the child is unharmed. If the examination reveals signs of
abuse and/or neglect, hospital personnel will initiate a referral to
Children's Protective Services for an investigation.
Private adoption agencies are also listed at the following Web site: www.mare.org.
To promote the Safe Delivery Program, the Safe Delivery Program FACT Sheet (DHS
Pub 867) describing the intent of the legislation, has been developed. A
toll-free, 24-hour telephone line has also been established to provide
information on services available to a prospective parent. The toll-free
number is: 1-866-733-7733.