Unintended Consequences: 'Safe Haven' Laws Are Causing Problems, Not Solving Them

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute's groundbreaking new report, "Unintended Consequences: 'Safe Haven' Laws Are Causing Problems, Not Solving Them," released on March 10, 2003, raises troubling questions about the effectiveness and consequences of so-called "safe haven" laws. The report--based on the most extensive research to date on the issue--shows that safe haven laws not only do not solve the problem of unsafe infant abandonment, but actually may encourage women to conceal pregnancies and then abandon infants who otherwise would have been placed for adoption through established legal procedures or been raised by relatives. Moreover, safe haven laws are having other serious negative consequences and undermine established child-welfare and protection practices.

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