Alabama has a law that allows parents to give up newborns at hospitals

Parents can take the newborn to a hospital with an emergency room within 72 hours of the birth of a child.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 9:20 AM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On the heels of the supreme court overturning Roe V. Wade, some now question the ripple effect it will have on unwanted pregnancies. Alabama already has a law in place protecting parents who feel they cannot adequately take care of their newborn baby. It’s called the Safe Haven Law.

”I had a client who had a baby and drowned it,” said Attorney Mark McDaniel.

Stories like these are not unusual.

“We have found one in a dumpster,” said Community Relations Officer with HEMSI, Don Webster.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way due to Alabama’s Safe Haven law.

“They can take it to a hospital with an emergency room within 72 hours of the birth of a child,” said McDaniel.

McDaniel says women he represented who he says killed their children out of desperation or post-partum depression will face 10 years to life in prison, but that is not the case for parents who abide by Safe Haven.

“You will not be prosecuted. No one is going to condemn you. Nobody is going to try to arrest you,” said McDaniel.

Webster has responded to multiple cases of abandoned babies and fears he will see more with the recent Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade.

“The prediction is that there will be more children abandoned at birth or shortly after birth,” said Webster.

Unlike other states, the law does not permit parents to drop off infants at fire stations, but that could change. Alabama is about to join 6 other states by installing a Safe Haven Baby box.

The box will be installed at a fire station in Oxford, allowing parents to anonymously drop off an infant safely.

“I learned that 11,000 babies just in the state of Alabama are abused and neglected and I feel like something should be done about that,” said Oxford High School senior, Madison Scott.


McDaniel says it’s crucial to get the word out about the Safe Haven law. He says caring for children from unwanted pregnancies will ultimately fall on taxpayers.

“We as taxpayers need to help that girl out. We have wonderful churches. It is great to pray but get your checkbook out too,” said McDaniel.

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