Overview of Tennessee law, statistics, legislation, and news stories related to Safe Haven Baby Boxes in the state.
Code notation link pending. SB 1146 went into effect May 11, 2022
No baby boxes have been installed in Tennessee.
- HB 164 and SB534— Requires the Department of Children’s Services to designate an authorized nonprofit licensed child-placing agency to assume physical care, custody, and control of an infant voluntarily left at certain facilities or in a newborn safety device; specifies that a court may waive the six-month waiting period after the filing of an adoption petition if the child was voluntarily left at certain facilities or in a newborn safety device and certain other circumstances have been met. Pending
- HB 1146 Expands the procedure for surrendering a newborn infant without criminal liability to include placement in a newborn safety device located at a continuously staffed police station, fire station, or hospital; extends age limit from 2 weeks to 30 days. Requires that an infant delivered to a facility authorized to accept an infant as described in this amendment be issued a birth certificate by the office of vital records which supersedes and invalidates any previously issued birth certificate. Passed April 20, 2022; Signed by Governor, April 9, 2022; Effective Date: May 11, 2022.
- SB 1790 Expands the procedure for surrendering a newborn infant without criminal liability to include placement in a newborn safety device located at a continuously staffed police station, fire station, or hospital; allows either parent, rather than only a mother, to voluntarily surrender a newborn infant. Sine Die
- HB1932 Companion to SB 1790 SineDie
- HB 534: Amendment to state’s Safe Haven law to authorize use of newborn safety device. This bill is referenced in news articles below, but there is no record of it on the Tennessee Legislative page or Legiscan.
None to date.
News and Commentary
- Non-profit group works to help protect surrendered newborn babies, WKRN-TV, January 20, 2023
- State’s first Safe Haven Baby Boxes boxes to be placed in Jackson, WBBJ-TV, August 9, 2022
- The Jackson Fire Department is seeking the community’s support to start a “Safe Haven” Baby Box, WNBJ-TV, October 5, 2022
- Spring Hill resident starts fundraiser to see Safe Haven Baby Box installed in city, Williamson Home Page, January 29, 2020
- Woman hopes to bring first “baby box” to Middle Tennessee, WKRN-TV Nashville, January 30, 2020
- State bill would set up boxes for “relinquished” infant at law enforcement, medical facilities, Johnson City Press, March 14, 2020
Updated January 29. 2023