The state’s Safe Haven Law was passed on July 1, 2001, after two Blount County women discovered the body a newborn girl that had been found abandoned in a shed. She died of severe dehydration.
Unfortunately, the problem of abandoned newborns continues even today in
Shelby County. The Sheriff’s Office is working hard by encouraging awareness of this issue hoping to change things with this awareness initiative. Tennessee’s Safe Haven Law provides that a newborn that is 72 hours old or less may be left at a designated medical or emergency facility (outlined in T.C.A. Section 68-11-255), no questions asked. The newborn must be unharmed and brought in by the mother. The law grants complete anonymity to the mother of the child and promises that she will not be prosecuted as long as the child is less than 72 hours old and is unharmed.
Sheriff Oldham is asking residents in Shelby County to help save the lives of our newborn children by supporting this initiative and helping to make the public more knowledgeable about the Tennessee Safe Haven Law. Working together, we can protect our children.