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

 
 

List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for Michigan

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • "Newborn:" child who a physician reasonably believes to be not more than 72 hours old.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent:
    • Does not express an intent to return.
What are the incentives for a person to relinquish a baby at a Safe Haven?
  • Protection from Liability:
    • Affirmative defense to prosecution for injury or abandonment.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Emergency service provider - an on-duty, identifiable employee or contractor of:
    • Fire department
    • Hospital
    • Police station
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Assume that the relinquished child is less than 72 hours old.
  • Take the child into temporary protective custody.
  • Take actions necessary to protect the health and safety of the child.
  • Inform the parent:
    • By surrendering the child, the parent is releasing the child for adoption.
    • The parent has 28 days to petition the court to regain custody.
  • Provide the parent with written material approved or produced by the family independence agency that includes the following statements:
    • By surrendering the child, the parent is releasing the child for adoption.
    • The parent has 28 days to petition the court to regain custody.
    • After the 28-day period, there will be a hearing to terminate parental rights.
    • There will be public notice of this hearing, and the notice will not contain the parent's name.
    • The parent will not receive personal notice of this hearing.
    • Information the parent provides to an emergency service provider will not be made public.
    • A parent can contact the safe delivery line for more information.
  • Make a reasonable effort to:
    • Encourage the parent to provide relevant family or medical information.
    • Provide the parent with the pamphlet.
    • Inform the parent that he or she can receive counseling and medical attention.
    • Ask the parent to identify himself or herself (Inform the parent that information will not be made public).
    • Inform the parent that in order to place the newborn for adoption the state is required to make a reasonable attempt to identify the other parent, and then ask the parent to identify the other parent.
    • Inform the parent that the child-placing agency that takes temporary protective custody of the newborn can provide confidential services to the parent.
    • Inform the parent that the parent may sign a release for the child to be used at the TPR hearing.
  • If Safe Haven is not a hospital, transfer child to a hospital.
  • Hospital shall have child examined by a physician. If there is reason to suspect the child has experienced abuse or neglect, other than being surrendered, or if the physician reasonably believes the child is not less than 72 hours old, the physician shall immediately report to the department as required by the child protection law.
  • If the physician is not required to report, the hospital shall notify a child-placing agency that the hospital has taken the child into custody.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: Immune in civil action for acts or omissions under this chapter.
Rights of the Relinquishing Parent
  • Provide Information to Relinquisher:
    • Safe haven staff shall inform the parent:
      • By surrendering the child, the parent is releasing the child for adoption.
      • The parent has 28 days to petition the court to regain custody.
    • Safe haven staff shall provide the parent with written material approved or produced by the family independence agency that includes the following statements:
      • By surrendering the child, the parent is releasing the child for adoption.
      • The parent has 28 days to petition the court to regain custody.
      • After the 28-day period, there will be a hearing to terminate parental rights.
      • There will be public notice of this hearing, and the notice will not contain the parent's name.
      • The parent will not receive personal notice of this hearing.
      • Information the parent provides to an emergency service provider will not be made public.
      • A parent can contact the safe delivery line for more information.
  • Procedure to Reclaim Custody:
    • Biological parent must, within 28 days after surrender, file an action with the court for custody.
    • Before holding a custody hearing, the court shall determine whether the individual is the child's biological parent with a blood or tissue test.
    • Court shall determine custody of the child based on the child's best interest.
    • Parent who surrenders a child and does not file a custody action is presumed to have knowingly released his or her parental rights.
Children's Rights
  • Medical Information:
    • Safe haven shall make a reasonable effort to encourage the parent to provide relevant family or medical information.
  • Identifying Information:
    • Safe haven shall make a reasonable effort to ask the parent to identify him or herself.
    • Safe haven shall inform the parent that in order to place the newborn for adoption the state is required to make a reasonable attempt to identify the other parent, and then ask the parent to identify the other parent.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Court has jurisdiction over a relinquished child and may appoint a lawyer-guardian ad litem to represent the child.
  • Safe haven takes the child into temporary protective custody.
  • Child Placing Agency shall:
    • Assume the care, control, and temporary protective custody of the child.
    • If a parent is known and willing, immediately meet with the parent.
    • Make a temporary placement of the child with a prospective adoptive parent.
    • Request assistance from law enforcement officials to determine whether the child is a missing child.
    • Not later than 48 hours after transfer of physical custody to a prospective adoptive parent, petition the court to provide authority to place the child and provide care for the newborn.
    • Within 28 days, make reasonable efforts to identify and locate non-relinquishing parent. If name and address of parent are unknown, provide notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the child was surrendered.
  • A relinquishing parent who does not file a custody action is presumed to have knowingly released his or her parental rights.
  • If a custody action is not filed within 28 days, petition the court for termination of parental rights.
  • Relinquishment and failure to file custody action within 28 days may be grounds for termination of parental rights.
  • Unless the new chapter specifically provides otherwise, a provision in another chapter of this act does not apply to a proceeding under this chapter (concerning relinquished children).
Fathers' Rights
  • Publish Notice:
    • Within 28 days, the child-placing agency shall make reasonable efforts to identify and locate non-relinquishing parent. If name and address of parent are unknown, provide notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the child was surrendered.
  • Safe haven shall inform the relinquishing parent that in order to place the newborn for adoption the state is required to make a reasonable attempt to identify the other parent, and then ask the parent to identify the other parent.
Notes
  • Amends 1939 PA 288



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