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List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for Arkansas

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be less than 30 days old.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent or person designated by parent:
    • Parent voluntarily delivers the child or voluntarily arranges for another person to deliver the child to the safe haven.
    • Parent does not express an intent to return for the child
What are the incentives for a person to relinquish a baby at a Safe Haven?
  • Protection from Liability:
    • Affirmative defense to prosecution for endangering the welfare of a minor.
      • This does not create a defense to prosecution for any abuse or neglect prior to the delivery of the child to a safe haven.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Medical Provider
    • Emergency department of licensed hospital
  • Law enforcement agency
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Perform any act necessary to protect the health and safety of the child.
  • Take a 72-hour hold of the child.
  • Immediately notify the Division of Children and Family Services of the Department of Human Services.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: no civil or criminal liability for good faith acts or omissions.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Safe haven takes 72 hour hold of the child.
  • Division of Children and Family Services shall initiate a dependency petition.
  • Division of Children and Family Services shall use the Missing Children Information Clearinghouse, and any other national and state resources, to determine whether the child is a missing child.

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