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Safe Surrender: When a Parent Can't Care for a Newborn

Oregon Safe Haven Law

Oregon's Safe Haven Law ORS 418.017
  • A parent may leave an infant aged 60 days or less with an agent, employee, physician, or other medical professional working at an authorized facility.
  • An authorized facility means a hospital, doctor's office, birthing clinic, police station, sheriff's office, or fire station.
  • The parent is not required to provide any identifying information about themselves or the infant.
  • As long as the infant is aged 60 days or less, shows no signs of abuse or neglect, and is handed to someone working at an authorized facility, criminal liability may be avoided (ORS 163.535).
When the infant is left at the authorized facility:   
  • The facility must notify the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) within 24 hours of receiving the infant by calling the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline (855-503-SAFE (7233). 
  • The facility will provide ODHS with all information the facility has regarding the infant.
  • ODHS is deemed to have protective custody of the infant from the moment the infant is left at the facility and ODHS is required to comply with the provisions of ORS Chapter 419B with regard to the infant.

For Parents

This is a big decision. If you need support, want to talk to someone, or need information on adoption, counseling or other support, call 211 or visit the website.

See also

Child Welfare Office Locations and Phone Number

Read the Law

Oregon Revised Statutes 418.017 - 418.018