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List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for Mississippi

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be less than 72 hours old.
  • Child must be unharmed.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent:
    • Voluntarily delivers child.
    • 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:
    • Absolute affirmative defense to prosecution.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Emergency medical services provider:
    • Licensed hospital that operates an emergency department.
    • Licensed adoption agency.
  • No individual licensed healthcare provider shall be deemed to be an emergency medical services provider unless they voluntarily assume responsibility for the custody of the child.
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Perform any act necessary to protect the health or safety of the child.
  • Notify the Department of Human Services no later than close of the first business day after the date the provider takes possession of the child.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: Immune from liability for any civil action arising out of any act or omission unless there was gross negligence or willful misconduct.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Department of Human Services shall assume the care, control and custody of the child immediately after receiving notice from the safe haven.
  • Department of Human Services shall pay all medical and other costs associated with the child and reimburse the hospital for any costs incurred.

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