Safe Haven Laws
The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers (CCNM) does not support the promotion or establishment of any laws that promote the anonymous disposal of babies or children. These laws are variously called safe haven laws, baby abandonment laws or baby dump laws. Those who support such laws believe that they save the lives of innocent babies. We disagree with their assumed results of these laws while supporting their intent, to protect babies from harm.
The CCNM strongly suggests that safe haven laws fail to serve either the best interests of unsupported mothers faced with unplanned pregnancies or the best interests of children.
Safe haven laws:
3. Assume that the opportunity to anonymously drop off a baby holds no long-term consequences for the parents of the child, and only positive consequences for the child,
4. Deny the child knowledge of his or her identity and heritage permanently,
5. Deny the mother and father any future information about their child, information which will most likely become needed after the mother and father have come to terms with their loss and grief,
6. Prevent reunion permanently and cause grievous pain and suffering to many children (later adults), natural parents and families,
7. Deny children knowledge of their medical histories, permanently, a tragedy which will, with certainty, result in the suffering and deaths of some individuals,
8. Allow governments to avoid dealing with the causes and solutions to major social issues affecting our societies, in particular: support to women faced with unplanned pregnancies, homelessness; public education and support for dissemination of birth control; family abuse and homeless youth; and mental illness,
9. Foster the cruel and unwarranted stereotype of natural mothers as heartless abandoners,
10. Facilitate kidnapping and/or coercion of mothers in marketing of babies by those who profit from adoption,
11. Circumvent certain knowledge that both natural parents have willingly given informed consent to surrender their babies,
12. Promote and sustain a climate of secrecy in adoption without regard for the well-documented consequences to secrecy in adoption including abandonment, the life-long disability so often spoken of by adopted people and recognized by adoption professionals,
13. Remove all legal rights from the natural mother and father prior to or without providing them with the opportunity for counselling, to ask for and receive legal, moral, emotional and economic support to enable them to keep their baby or to make an alternative plan,
14. Remove the right of extended kin to first have the opportunity to raise the child within kinship networks, culture and community,
15. Do permanent damage to mothers, fathers, children and families.
March 8, 2003
© The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers. March 2003, written by Karen Lynn. This document is the property of the Canadian Council of Natural Mothers, www.ccnm-mothers.ca. You may copy and distribute this page provided that you copy it in its entirety.