New Mexico Safe Haven for Infants Act

Don’t abandon your baby!  New Mexico offers safe places for you to give up your baby.


 

What is the New Mexico Safe Haven for Infants Act?

 

Under the New Mexico Safe Haven for Infants Act, you can bring your baby, up to 90 days old, to any Safe Haven site in New Mexico without fear of being criminally charged for child abandonment.

To be covered by the law, you must notify somebody you are leaving an infant. YOU CANNOT LEAVE YOUR BABY ALONE.

 

Where do I go to surrender my infant?

 

In New Mexico, you may go to a:

  • Hospital
  • Law enforcement agency
  • Fire station

There must be staff on site at the time of surrender.

 

What will happen to me?

 

Staff or volunteers at the Safe Haven site may request basic information about you and your child to help the Children, Youth & Families Department find an appropriate placement for your infant. They may also offer you support such as counseling or other services. You are not required to provide information or receive services and once you have safely surrendered your child to a person at a Safe Haven site, you are free to leave.

 

What if I change my mind?

 

The New Mexico Safe Haven Act for Infants allows biological parents to have rights and reunification procedures.

 

What happens next?

 

The Children, Youth & Families Department will take emergency custody of the infant, assess any immediate needs, and enroll the baby in Medicaid benefits and services. The Department is required to investigate any potential abuse or neglect that may have occurred before the baby was safely surrendered. CYFD will seek tribal input and follow the federal Indian Child Welfare Act when appropriate.

 

Is my information protected?

 

Any information or documents regarding the surrender of an infant are confidential and may not be released to the public. Any information collected is intended to benefit the infant by providing their tribal status, medical history, or other important information that will give your child the best possible life.

 

Who can I call for more information?

 

You can request information by calling 855-333-SAFE. If you or your baby are experiencing a medical emergency, please immediately call 911.