Harnett County,
North Carolina

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Safe Surrender (Surrender Newborns Safely)

North Carolina’s Safe Surrender Law allows a parent to surrender a newborn up to seven days old to a responsible adult without providing his or her name.

  • Safe Surrender is legal, and aims to prevent newborns from being hurt or abandoned.

Why is the Safe Surrender Law Necessary?

The risk of homicide on the first day of life is 10 times greater than during any other time of life. The law provides parents in crisis who feel they have no other choice a way to surrender their unwanted baby safely and anonymously.

How to Safely Surrender Your Newborn: Make sure that the baby is healthy, warm and clean. Then, find a responsible adult who will assist you with the surrender of your newborn.

Your best options for a Safe Surrender contact include:

  • A health care provider
  • A law enforcement officer
  • A social services worker
  • An emergency medical personnel
  • A trusted, responsible adult who understands the best interests of the child

Do Not Leave the Baby Somewhere and Hope that Someone Will Find it.

If you choose Safe Surrender, you are not required by law to give any information. However, it would be helpful to your baby and the family who adopts him or her if you make some health and family history information available. A surrendering parent can provide information to the adult who accepts the baby or that information may be sent anonymously to the county department of social services.

In an emergency call 911. For more information about the Safe Surrender Law, please contact your local Department of Social Services.

For more information click here to view NC Health and Human Services web site.

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