Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

Infant Relinquishment Information for Workers

(Safe Haven)

Safe Haven, also known as “infant relinquishment,” allows a parent to leave their newborn in a safe place in certain circumstances with certain individuals.

Under Wisconsin law, a parent can leave their unharmed newborn child under 72 hours old anonymously and without fear of prosecution with a:

  • Police officer
  • 911 emergency medical staff person
  • Hospital staff member

The parent does not have to provide their name or address to the professional accepting the baby, unless:

  • The baby has been harmed
  • You are being forced by someone to give up the baby
  • The baby is more than 3 days old

Infant Relinquishment Process Information

Wisconsin Child Protective Services Access & Initial Assessment Standards provides information regarding infant relinquishment as it relates to the child protective services (CPS) process.

eWiSACWIS Relinquishment FAQ’s provides answers to frequently asked questions about infant relinquishment for Child Protective Service workers.

Infant Relinquishment Materials

Instructions for Person Accepting Relinquishment of an Infant (DCF-P-PFS4073B) is an instructional publication for the professional accepting the infant.

Infant Relinquishment and Questionnaire (DCF-P-PFS4073A) is a publication providing an overview of infant relinquishment for parents.

Infant Relinquishment - Questions About You and the Infant (DCF-F-CFS2316) is NOT a required form. The questions can be asked if the parent(s) are open to sharing information about the infant. It will help providers give the best care to the child now and in the future.

Health Information for Birth Mothers (DCF-P-PFS4073C) is a publication that can provided to mothers with post-partum information and warning signs

Statutes, Standards, Polices

Wisconsin Statutes and Adminstrative Rules

Wisconsin Children's Code Chapter 48.195 provides information about taking a child into custody through infant relinquishment

Wisconsin DCF Chapter 39 Relinquishing Custody of a Newborn Child establishes the procedures under which a parent may relinquish a newborn.

Standards

Wisconsin Child Protective Services Access & Initial Assessment Standards provides information regarding infant relinquishment as it relates to the child protective services (CPS) process.

Policy Memos

2004-09i  - HFS 39: Relinquishing Custody of a Newborn - is the Division of Safety and Permanency announcement of the Administrative Rule 39 which provides the protocol for relinquishing a newborn in Wisconsin.