Abandoned Infant Protection Act

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New York State’s Abandoned Infant Protection Act allows a parent to abandon a newborn baby up to 30 days of age anonymously and without fear of prosecution -- if the baby is abandoned in a safe manner.

A parent is not guilty of a crime if the infant is left with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and the parent promptly notifies an appropriate person of the infant’s location.  A hospital, staffed police or fire station are examples of safe and suitable choices.

A person leaving an infant under this law is not required to give his or her name.

Listen to an audio message about Abandoned Infant Protection Act.

For more information regarding the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, call toll free: 1-866-505-SAFE (7233).

History of the Act

New York State first enacted the Abandoned Infant Protection Act in July 2000 to save the lives of unwanted, newborn infants. The law was amended in August 2010 to provide additional incentive for any person who is going to abandon a baby to do so in a manner that does not harm the baby. The amendments provide that parents who abandon their infant in a safe way, as prescribed by the law, will not be held criminally liable. The 2010 changes also increased the time frame in which an infant could be abandoned under the Act. Previously, an infant could be abandoned only in the first five days of its life; now the law applies to infants 30 days old or younger.

Consider Adoption: A Loving Family Is Ready and Willing

In New York State there are many prospective adoptive families searching for a child to become a part of their family. If you are considering the option not to parent your child, adoption will provide your child with a safe and loving home.

New York State adoption agencies help find permanent homes for children so they are provided the opportunity to thrive and develop in a secure and devoted family. If you would like help in finding a family for your child, call the New York State Parent Connection Helpline at 1-800-345-KIDS (5437).