I am a pregnant woman: if my baby is proven mentally retarded, what's the procedure I should take to give my baby away to the state foster care? Do I have to pay the state child support if I give my baby away?

We have mental retardation genes in my family. I am not kidding. I understand I will never be capable of raising a mentally retarded baby myself.

I live in New Jersey.

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    If you don't feel prepared to care for your child whatever their needs or situation, you may want to consider adoption as soon as the baby is born -- many special needs conditions are not apparent for a number of months/years after birth, and the process of giving up parental rights gets more complicated the older the child is. For specific advice on the New Jersey foster system, you REALLY should consult a lawyer, not the Internet.
    – Acire
    May 5, 2013 at 20:57
  • Here is some information about relevant laws in new jersey: hg.org/article.asp?id=30999 Apr 29, 2017 at 20:59

2 Answers 2


New Jersey has a Safe Haven Law (as do most states), which allows you to give your baby anonymously to any hospital emergency room or police station within 30 days of birth. You do not even have to take the baby yourself, you can ask a friend, member of the clergy, practically anyone. The baby will be placed in foster or pre-adoptive care. Adoption proceedings will usually begin about three weeks later.

There is information about the Safe Haven Law here (how it works).

You can call them at 1-877-839-2339 to get your questions answered.

Good luck to you!

  • Agree with MJ6. The safe haven laws are a blessing for all involved. It is an alternative that needs much more publicity and public support. Good luck.
    – sean808080
    Apr 27, 2017 at 19:29
  • I just want to note that although it is perfectly legal to leave a baby at a safe haven location like a hospital, when possible it's better to go through the normal adoption process --- adoption agencies will get more complete records from you, important medical info, etc. which might not be available to the adoptive parents (or the child) if he/she is just left at a safe haven spot. Apr 29, 2017 at 20:56

I wouldn't rush into anything based on your fear. Parents are almost hardcoded to love their children, so you may feel differently after the birth. If you don't change your feelings maybe someone in your family would be prepared to look after the baby, e.g. grand parents.

Would the baby's father be interested in looking after it ?

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