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

 
 

List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for North Carolina

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be less than 7 days old.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent:
    • Voluntarily delivers the child.
    • 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:
    • Shall not be prosecuted for abandonment.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Health care provider who is on duty or at a hospital, local or district health department, or nonprofit community health center.
  • Law enforcement officer who is on duty or at a police station or sheriff's department.
  • Social services worker who is on duty or at a local department of social services.
  • Certified emergency medical service worker who is on duty or at a fire station or emergency medical services station.
  • Any adult.
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Take the child into temporary custody.
  • Perform any act necessary to protect the physical health and well-being of the child.
  • Immediately notify the department of social services or a local law enforcement agency.
  • May ask parent for identification and medical history.
    • Must tell the parent that the parent is not required to provide information.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: Immune from civil or criminal liability for good faith actions.
Children's Rights
  • Medical Information:
    • Safe haven may ask the parent for medical history information.
    • Must tell the parent that the parent is not required to provide information.
  • Identifying Information:
    • Safe haven may ask the parent for identifying information.
    • Must tell the parent that the parent is not required to provide information.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Safe haven takes temporary custody of the child.
  • Court may terminate parental rights if the parent voluntarily abandoned an infant pursuant to this law for at least 60 days prior to the filing of the petition.
Efficacy of Safe Havens - Public Information Campaigns
  • Department of Health and Human Services, in consultation with law enforcement officials, medical professionals, and representatives of the Department of Public Instruction, shall develop recommendations for a plan to inform the public about this law (Including topics in addition to relinquishment):
    • Including information on responsible parenting.
    • Targeted at adolescents and young adults.
Notes
  • Department of Health and Human Services shall report recommendations and projected cost of implementation to the Congress no later than April 1, 2002.



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