Can't cope with your newborn baby?

You can leave your baby in safe hands – no questions asked.

If for any reason you are unable to keep or care for your baby, you can safely leave your newborn infant up to three (3) days old at ANY hospital emergency room or full-time fire station in San Mateo County.

  • You do not have to answer any questions or give your name if you do no wish to.
  • No charges will be filed against you.
  • Trained professionals will make sure your baby get medical care and an adoptive home.
  • If you change your mind within 14 days, your baby will be returned to you, if you can provide a safe home.

A Safe Haven for your baby

San Mateo County guarantees that there is always a safe place to leave your newborn, 24 hours a day / seven days a week. Just tell the emergency-room nurse or firefighter that you want to leave your baby in a "Safe Haven."

For more information, call 650-802-7922.

Find more information on Safe Haven and the Safely Surrendered Baby Law at

How the Program Works

You and your baby will be given matching, numbered identification bracelets. For the baby's sake, you will be asked if you are willing to answer a few medical questions. You may take a questionnaire that can be filled out privately and mailed back later. You are not required to answer questions or leave information.

The baby will be given a medical examination and taken to a foster home. If you do not claim the baby within 14 days, an adoptive home will be found as quickly as possible.

Find more information on Safe Haven and the Safely Surrendered Baby Law at

What if I change my mind?

If you decide to reclaim your baby within 14 days:

  • Call Children and Family Services of San Mateo County at 650-802-7922
  • Say you wish to claim an infant who was placed in a "Safe Haven."

The numbered identification bracelet will help them locate the baby. A social worker will meet with you to make sure you can provide a safe home for the baby. If you can provide for the baby, it will be returned to you.

If you cannot reclaim the baby, but wish to be involved in choosing an adoptive home or planning the baby's future, call 650-802-7922 and talk to a social worker. Your input will be respected, regardless of your age or background.

What if I need assistance?

There are many reasons why new mothers may be unable to care for a newborn.

We can safeguard your baby, and we can also assist new mothers facing hard decisions. If you need help keeping your baby safe, call Children and Family Services at 650-802-7922, or 1-800-632-4615.


Child Safe Surrender

Safely Surrendered Baby Law

California's Safely Surrendered Baby Law was introduced in 2001, and made into law in 2006. The law has saved the lived of many newborn infants who might otherwise have been abandoned in unsafe locations. Under the law, parents and other persons with lawful custody may safely surrender infants within 72 hours of birth, with no charges filed and no questions asked.

Find more information on Safe Haven and the Safely Surrendered Baby Law at