Safe Place for Newborns

The Safe Place for Newborns is a program that helps save the lives of newborns in danger of abandonment and helps preserve the health and future of their mothers.

The Safe Place for Newborns program enables a parent of a newborn, that is under 72 hours old, to bring them to Rusk County Memorial Hospital or any hospital in Wisconsin. The parent may relinquish custody anonymously and without fear of prosecution in lieu of abandonment, injury or death.

You may go to any hospital in the state of Wisconsin and leave your baby, if less than 72 hours old, with a hospital employee. Tell the hospital person that you want to leave your baby with Safe Place for Newborns.

You can also give your baby to a police office or an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). If you like, you can call "911" and ask for the police or an EMT to pick up your baby.

You do not have to tell the people at the hospital your name or anything else.

We will probably ask you a few questions and give you the opportunity to provide some health information. This background, called a "medical history" will be incredibly valuable for your baby as he or she grows up. We may give you a simple medical history that you can take with you to complete and mail in at a later date. This information will not be made public but will be put in your baby's records and may help answer health questions in the future.

We may offer you a packet of information and explain a few things to you. We are not trying to stop you but, rather provide you with information that may be helpful to you. Whatever information you provide to the person receiving your child will be kept strictly confidential.

The police will not be called if your baby is less than 3 days old and is unharmed.

The hospital will take care of any medical needs your baby may have. We will then contact Rusk County Social Services. Social Services will place your baby in foster care, and after a period of time has passed, your baby will be eligible to be adopted. Many wonderful people are ready and waiting to receive a child into their home through adoption.

The Safe Place for Newborns Telephone Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you would like to speak to someone about using the Safe Place for Newborns program, call

Toll Free 1-877-440-2229

You can also learn more about the program at the Wisconsin Safe Place for Newborns Website or please see the contact information listed below.

Theresa Walsh, Executive Director
PO Box 628124
Middleton, WI 53562
(608) 225-5544
(608) 326-0951 Fax