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List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for Colorado

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be less than 72 hours old.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent:
    • Safely, reasonably, and knowingly relinquished child to safe haven.
    • Voluntarily delivered child to the safe haven.
    • Did 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 permitting a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that poses a threat of injury to the child's life or health.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Firefighter at a fire station;
  • Hospital staff member who engages in admission, care, or treatment of patients, when the staff member is at a hospital.
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Take temporary physical custody of the child.
  • Perform any act necessary to protect the physical health or safety of the child.
  • Notify law enforcement officer within 24 hours.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: No civil or criminal liability for good faith acts or omissions pursuant to this section.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Safe haven takes temporary physical custody of the child.
  • Law Enforcement Officer takes temporary custody of child upon receipt of notice from safe haven.
  • County Department of Human Services shall:
    • Place abandoned child with a potential adoptive parent as soon as possible;
    • Proceed with a motion to terminate parental rights of a parent who abandons a child as soon as lawfully possible.
Long-Term Solutions
  • Collect Data on Relinquishment:
    • County Department of Human Services shall:
      • Maintain and update a monthly report of the number of children who have been relinquished;
      • Submit information to state department of Human Services.
    • State Department of Human Services shall submit report to General Assembly beginning 1/1/01 that compiles monthly reports.
  • Amends Colorado Revised Statutes 18-6-401 and Part 3 of article 3 of title 19.

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