If you are pregnant, scared, and have no idea what you are going to do with your baby, there is no need to panic. Under the Tennessee Safe Haven Law, you have an option designed specifically to help those with unwanted, unintended, or hidden pregnancies. No matter what, you should never abandon your newborn baby. Under this program, you have up to 3 days to surrender your baby at any one of the following locations without fear of reprisal:
- Birthing Centers
- Community Health Clinics
- Walk-in Clinics
- EMS Facilities
- Fire and Police Stations that are open 24/7
So many expectant mothers who are scared and have no idea what to do, or anyone to turn to, end up making choices out of fear. Picture this, a baby wrapped in a blanket and dropped off in any number of unsafe places. This happens countless times a day, 365 days a year, not just here in Tennessee, but all over the country.
The most common reason for this scenario is that the mothers often have spent the last nine months of their lives living in fear and doing their best to hide the fact they were pregnant from family and friends. The few lucky babies are handed over to firemen, police officers, or the nearest nurse at the hospital.
Secret Safe Place is Here to Help
Since Secret Safe Place first opened their doors, they have saved over 90 newborns by giving pregnant women the help they need. Not only do they offer mothers-to-be a safe place to surrender their babies, they offer information regarding the safe and secret options available to them under Tennessee Law.
A Secret Safe Place was founded in 2000 after a 14-year-old gave birth in secret and then abandoned the baby. The 14-year-old was convicted of First Degree Murder and sentenced under state law. Through the efforts of Shawna McConnell and Lisa Yount of Blount County along with many others, the Safe Haven Law in Tennessee was passed in 2001.
Secret Safe Place is a non-profit that supports and assists the many facilities where women can safely drop off their newborns without fear of prosecution (providing they are unharmed) within 72 hours of birth. Their goal is to eliminate the number of abandoned babies through education and public awareness campaigns.