Emergency and Trauma Care

Safe Haven Infant Relinquishment

Safe Haven laws are there to help when someone gives birth to an infant and wants to anonymously give the baby away in a safe manner.

Virginia law allows parents to safely and anonymously surrender the baby within 30 days of birth at a designated location without any legal consequences.

Any baby up to 30 days old and unharmed can be brought to a designated location to be safely surrendered at any time (24 hours a day/ 365 days a year).

In Virginia all fire stations, rescue squad stations and 24-hour hospital emergency rooms are considered safe places. This includes the four Riverside acute care hospital emergency departments located across the region.

  • Eastern Shore
    Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital
    20480 Market Street
    Onancock, VA 23417
  • Middle Peninsula
    Riverside Walter Reed Hospital
    7547 Medical Drive
    Gloucester, VA 23061
  • Peninsula
    Riverside Regional Medical Center
    500 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
    Newport News, VA 23601
  • Williamsburg
    Riverside Doctors’ Hospital of Williamsburg
    1500 Commonwealth Ave.
    Williamsburg, VA 23185

The baby will be cared for by medical staff and admitted to the hospital for care.

When the baby is healthy and ready to be discharged from the hospital, the Department of Social Services will take over their care, initially placing the child in a foster home and then with a permanent adoptive family.

We urge any parent who has recently given birth to seek medical care for themselves as well, but it is not required as part of the Safe Haven relinquishment process.

If you do not feel comfortable seeking care at the same location where you surrender the baby, please consider going somewhere else for your own care.

For more information please see the Virginia Department of Social Services website or call the National Safe Haven Alliance at 1-888-510-BABY or Riverside Nurse at 757-595-6363.

You will see these stickers on the doors of the emergency rooms to indicate they are a safe haven for infants being surrendered.