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Home > Practice Areas > Baby Abandonment > Other Links and Resources

 
 

Baby Abandonment Project

The list below identifies the 41 states that have passed "safe haven" laws between 1999 and August 2002.

Clickable Map of United States


Alabama

House Bill 115   (Signed by Governor May 11, 2000)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Emergency medical services providers, hospitals
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution

Alaska

State Code: 26-25 - 1-26-25-5

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Emergency medical services providers in hospitals
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution for nonsupport, endangerment, abandonment, or endangering the child's welfare

Arizona

House Bill 2001   (Signed by Governor April 23, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Firefighter, Emergency medical services technician, Hospital, Outpatient treatment center, Child welfare agency, Licensed adoption agency, Church or House of worship
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abuse

Arkansas

House Bill 1070/ Act 236   (Signed by Governor Feb 13, 2001)

Online Text of Bill    (Requires PDF)  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Emergency department of licensed hospital, Law enforcement agency
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution for endangering the welfare of a minor

California

Senate Bill 1368   (Signed by Governor September 28, 2000)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Hospital emergency room, Other location designated by board of supervisors
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution

Colorado

Senate Bill 00-171   (Signed by Governor June 3, 2000)

Online Text of Bill   (Requires PDF)  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Hospital, Fire station
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution

Connecticut

Public Act 00-207   (Signed by Governor October 1, 2000) Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospital emergency room
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution

Delaware

House Bill 120   (Signed by Governor July 9, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 14 days
  • Safe Havens: Emergency department of a hospital
  • Liability: Defense to Prosecution

Florida

House Bill 1901 and Amendment HB475
(Signed by Governor June 2, 2000 and May 23, 2001)

Online Text of Bill   (Requires PDF)  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 3 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Fire stations, Emergency medical services stations
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for neglect

Georgia

House Bill 360
(Signed May 2002)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: Less than one week
  • Safe Havens: Employee, volunteer or staff member of a medical facility
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for the crimes of cruelty of a child or abandonment of a dependent child.

Hawaii

Section 587D-2 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes   (Passed July 2007)

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours after birth
  • Safe Havens: A person may leave a newborn child with the personnel of a hospital, fire station, or police station or emergency services personnel
  • Liability: Exempt from prosecution for abandonment of a child so long as the newborn child is presented unharmed

Idaho

Senate Bill 1037   (Signed by Governor April 9, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Physicians' offices and clinics, Medical personnel responding to 911 call, Nurses and physician assistants
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abandonment

Illinois

House Bill 0632, Senate Bill 216, Public Act 92-0408   (Signed by Governor August 20, 2001) Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Hospital, fire station, emergency medical facility
  • Liability: Relinquishment does not violate the criminal code or constitute a basis for a finding of abuse, neglect or abandonment

Indiana

Senate Bill 330 and Amendment House Bill 1829
(Signed by Governor March 17, 2000 and May 17, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 45 days
  • Safe Havens: Emergency medical services provider
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution

Iowa

Senate File 355   (Signed by Governor April 24, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 14 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospital emergency rooms, Health care facilities
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abandonment or neglect

Kansas

House Bill 2838   (Signed by Governor 2000)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 45 days
  • Safe Havens: Fire station, City or county health department, Medical care facility
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abandonment

Kentucky

KRS Chapter 311

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Emergency medical services provider, Police Station, Fire Station
  • Liability: Relinquishing parent not considered to have abandoned or endangered the child

Louisiana

House Bill 223   (Signed by Governor April 17, 2000)

Online Text of Bill   (Requires PDF)  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Public health units, Fire stations, Police stations, Pregnancy crisis facility
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution for abandonment, molestation, or cruelty

Maine

LD 1670   (Signed March 22, 2002)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 31 days
  • Safe Havens: Emergency Room of a Hospital, Hospital Staff Member, Firefighter, Police Officer, Medical Services Provider
  • Liability: - Affirmative defense to the crime of abandonment

Maryland

Senate Bill 82   (Adopted March 22, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: Less than 3 days old
  • Safe Havens: Hospital personnel
  • Liability: Relinquishment not seen as a criminal act if child is unharmed

Massachusetts

(Effective October 29, 2004)

Key Points:
  • Age: 7 days old or younger
  • Safe Havens: Hospital personnel, police department or fire station
  • Liability: Relinquishment not seen as a criminal act if child is unharmed

Michigan

Senate Bill 1053   (Signed by Governor June 26, 2000)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Fire departments, Hospitals, Police stations
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution for injury or abandonment

Minnesota

Senate File 2615   (Signed by Governor April 2000)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution

Mississippi

House Bill 169   (Signed by Governor March 23, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Adoption agencies
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution

Missouri

House Bill 1443   (Approved by Governor July 2, 2002; Effective August 28, 2002)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: Less than 30 days old
  • Safe Havens: On duty hospital staff, firefighters, emergency medical technician, and law enforcement
  • Liability: : Immune from prosecution on child abandonment and endangering welfare of child who is less than 5 days old; affirmative defense for child abandonment and endangerment of welfare to child who is between 6-30 days old

Montana

Senate Bill 0132   (Signed by Governor April 19, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Fire departments, Hospitals, Law enforcement agencies
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abandonment

Nebraska

LB 157   (Signed by Governor February 13, 2008, Effective July 2008)

Key Points:
  • Age: No limit
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals licensed by the state
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abandonment

Nevada

Senate Bill 191   (Signed by Governor May 31, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospital, obstetric center or independent center for emergency medical care, fire-fighting agency, law enforcement agency
  • Liability: Not in violation of the law simply by virtue of delivering a child to a safe haven

New Hampshire

Revised State Statue 132:A-2

Key Points:
  • Age: Not more than 7 days old
  • Safe Havens: A church that is attended by a person, a police or fire station that is attended by a person, and a 911 responder at an agreed transfer location
  • Liability: The parent is not required to relinquish any personally identifiable information

New Jersey

Chapter 58   (Signed by Governor July 7, 2000)

Online Text of Bill   (Requires PDF)  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: State, county or municipal police stations, Hospital emergency rooms
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution for abandonment

New Mexico

Senate Bill 94   (Signed by Governor March 14, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 90 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Health care clinics
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abandonment or abuse

New York

SO06688   (Signed by Governor June 18, 2000)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 5 days
  • Safe Havens: Appropriate person or suitable location
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution for abandonment or desertion

North Carolina

House Bill 275 / Session Law 2001-291   (Signed by Governor July 19, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 7 days
  • Safe Havens: Health care provider, law enforcement officer, social services worker, certified emergency medical service worker, any adult
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution

North Dakota

SB 2129   (Signed by Governor March 28, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 1 year
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution

Ohio

House Bill 660   (Signed by Governor January 5, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Emergency medical service workers, Peace officers, Hospitals
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution

Oklahoma

House Bill 1122   (Signed by Governor April 30, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 7 days
  • Safe Havens: Medical services providers, Police stations, Fire stations, Child protective services agencies, Hospitals, Medical facilities
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abandonment or neglect

Oregon

Senate Bill 199   (Signed by Governor June, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Birthing Centers, Physicians' offices, Sheriffs' offices, Police stations
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution for abandonment

Pennsylvania

Cons. stat. Title 23 §§ 6502; 6503

Key Points:
  • Age: A newborn up to 28 days old
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals - a child may be left with a health care provider to include administrative, managerial or security personnel
  • Liability: A parent of a newborn may not be held criminally liable for any violation for leaving a newborn in a hospital

Rhode Island

Senate Bill 94   (Signed by Governor July 9, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospital, medical emergency facility, fire station, police station
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for abandonment

South Carolina

House Bill 4743   (Signed by Governor June 6, 2000)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Hospital outpatient facilities
  • Liability: Immune from criminal prosecution

South Dakota

Senate Bill 92   (Signed by Governor March 3, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 60 days
  • Safe Havens: Health care facilities or clinics, Law enforcement officers, Emergency medical technicians, Firefighters
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution

Tennessee

Senate Bill 774 / Public Act 388   (Signed by Governor July 19, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Birthing centers, Community health clinics, Out-patient "walk-in" clinics
  • Liability: Immune from criminal prosecution

Texas

House Bill 3423, Senate Bill 783   (Signed by Governor June 6, 1999; amended March 21, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 60 days
  • Safe Havens: Emergency medical services provider, Licensed child-placing agency, Licensed residential child-care provider
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution

Utah

House Bill 12 Substitute   (Signed by Governor March 15, 2001)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals with emergency rooms
  • Liability: Immune from prosecution for neglect or abandonment

Vermont

Ann. Stat. Title 13 Section 1303

Key Points:
  • Age: A child that is not more than 30 days old
  • Safe Havens: Relinquish to an employee, staff member, or volunteer at a health care facility, fire station, police station, place of worship, or an entity licensed in the state to place a child for adoption or to a 911 emergency responder at an agreed upon transfer location
  • Liability: No criminal liability. A person delivering a child safely for relinquishment is not required to provide any personally identifiable information

Virginia

Code 18.2 - 371.1

Key Points:
  • Age: An infant 14 days old or younger
  • Safe Havens: Any hospital, that provides 24 hours per emergency services or a rescue squad that employs EMT's
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution

Washington

SB 5236   (April 3, 2002)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Emergency department of a licensed hospital during hours of operation, or Fire station during hours of operation and while fire personnel are present
  • Liability: Relinquishing parent is not subject to criminal liability under parts of law in question.

West Virginia

House Bill 4300   (Signed by Governor March 11, 2000)

Online Text of Bill  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 30 days
  • Safe Havens: Hospitals, Health care facilities
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to certain prosecutions

Wisconsin

Assembly Bill 54   (Signed by Governor April 6, 2001)

Online Text of Bill   (Requires PDF)  --  CWLA Summary

Key Points:
  • Age: 72 hours
  • Safe Havens: Law enforcement officers, Emergency medical technicians, Hospitals, 911 responders
  • Liability: Immune from civil or criminal prosecution

Wyoming

Key Points:
  • Age: An infant 14 days old or younger
  • Safe Havens: Any hospital, fire state or police and sheriff's department that is open and staffed 24 hours per day
  • Liability: Affirmative defense to prosecution



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