Safe Haven Resources

In Virginia, Safe Haven laws allow a parent to safely surrender their unharmed infant who is 30 days old or younger to a staff member at a designated Safe Haven location (see list below) or a newborn safety device may be utilized if located at and operated by a designated Safe Haven location.

The law provides protection from criminal and civil liability in certain criminal prosecutions and civil proceedings for parents who safely surrender their infants. The law allows a parent to claim an affirmative defense to prosecution if the prosecution is based solely on the parent having left the infant at a designated Safe Haven location within the first 30 days of the infant’s life. For the affirmative defense to apply, the infant must be delivered in a manner reasonably calculated to ensure the infant’s safety.