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

 
 

List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for Idaho

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be no more than 30 days old (determined within a reasonable degree of medical certainty).
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Custodial parent:
    • Must personally deliver the child to the safe haven.
    • Must not express an intent to return for the child.
What are the incentives for a person to relinquish a baby at a Safe Haven?
  • Anonymity:
    • Safe haven shall not inquire about the identity of the parent delivering the child.
    • If information is known, the safe haven must keep it confidential.
  • Protection from Liability:
    • Custodial parent is immune from prosecution for abandonment if child is delivered under the provisions of this law.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Hospitals
  • Physicians and staff working at their offices and clinics
  • Advanced practice professional nurses
  • Physician assistants
  • Medical personnel responding to a 911 call
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Take temporary physical custody of the child.
  • Perform any act necessary to protect, preserve, or aid the physical health and safety of the child.
  • Immediately notify a peace officer or other person appointed by the court.
  • Shall not inquire about the identity of the parent delivering the child.
    • If information is known, the safe haven must keep it confidential.
  • Shall not require the relinquisher to provide any information, but relinquisher may voluntarily provide information.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: Immune from criminal or civil liability for any good faith acts performed.
Rights of the Relinquishing Parent
  • Procedure to Reclaim Custody:
    • A parent may claim parental rights by filing a notice of claim of parental rights with the vital statistics unit of the department of health and welfare.
      • Vital statistics unit shall maintain an abandoned child registry for this purpose.
      • Must file a claim before the court enters the termination of parental rights.
      • A parent who fails to enter a claim prior to the termination of parental rights is deemed to have abandoned the child and surrendered any right in relation to the child, including the right to notice of any judicial proceedings.
      • Registration of notice of commencement of paternity proceedings pursuant to chapter 15, title 16 shall not satisfy these requirements.
    • If a claim is made before an order to terminate parental rights is entered by the court, the court shall hold action the for involuntary termination of parental rights in abeyance for 60 days. During this period:
      • The court shall order genetic testing.
      • The department shall conduct an investigation.
      • When indicated after the investigation, a shelter care hearing shall be conducted.
      • Further proceedings shall be conducted as the court determines.
Children's Rights
  • Medical Information:
    • Relinquisher may voluntarily provide information, but safe havens may not require reqlinquishers to provide information.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Safe haven takes temporary physical custody of the child.
  • Peace officer or other court appointed person shall deliver child to the care, control and custody of the department of health and welfare upon receipt of notice from the safe haven.
    • If child requires medical attention, the child shall be left in the care of the hospital and the peace officer will notify the court and prosecutor of the action taken.
  • Requirement that parents be notified when child is taken into custody does not apply to relinquished children.
  • Department shall place the child with a potential adoptive parent as soon as possible.
  • Shelter care hearing shall be held pursuant to section 16-1614, and the department shall file a petition for legal custody pursuant to section 16-1610.
  • A child protection or criminal investigation will not be initiated unless a claim of parental rights is made and the court orders the investigation.
  • Department shall request assistance from law enforcement officials to investigate through the Missing Children Information Clearinghouse, etc. to insure the child is not missing.
  • Vital statistics unit shall maintain an abandoned child registry to register claims of parental rights to abandoned children.
  • After 30 days, department shall petition the court to terminate parental rights of the relinquishing parent and any unknown parent.
    • Prior to this, the department shall obtain and file with the court a certificate from the vital statistics unit that states that a diligent search has been done of the registry of parental claims of abandoned children.
  • A parent who fails to enter a claim prior to termination proceedings is deemed to have abandoned the child and surrendered any right in relation to the child, including the right to notice of any judicial proceeding.
Fathers' Rights
  • Search Putative Father Registries:
    • Department shall obtain and file with the court a certificate from the vital statistics unit that states that a diligent search has been done of the registry of parental claims of abandoned children. (Separate from commencement of paternity proceedings.)
Long-Term Solutions
  • Collect Data on Relinquishment:
    • Department shall evaluate the program and submit a written report on the program, including revisions, recommendations, improvements, to the senate and house health and welfare committees, no later than 2 years after effective date of act.
Notes
  • Amends Title 39, Idaho Code; and Sections 16-1513, 16-1612, 16-1613, 16-1632, and 16-2007, Idaho Code.



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