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

 
 

List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for North Dakota

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be less than one year old and unharmed.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent or agent of the parent.
What are the incentives for a person to relinquish a baby at a Safe Haven?
  • Protection from Liability:
    • Not subject to prosecution for leaving the child at the hospital.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Licensed hospital.
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Accept the child.
  • May request information regarding the parents.
  • Provide relinquisher with medical history form and an envelope with the hospital's address.
    • Relinquisher not required to provide any information.
  • Provide relinquisher with a numbered identification bracelet to link the relinquisher to the child.
  • May provide relinquisher with any relevant information, including information about:
    • Safe place for abandoned infant programs.
    • Adoption and counseling services.
    • Whom to contact if reunification is sought.
  • Notify Department of Human Services within 24 hours of receiving the child, but not before the relinquisher leaves the hospital.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: Immune from criminal or civil liability for accepting a child.
Rights of the Relinquishing Parent
  • Provide Information to Relinquisher:
    • Safe haven may provide relinquisher with any relevant information, including information about:
      • Safe place for abandoned infant programs.
      • Adoption and counseling services.
      • Whom to contact if reunification is sought.
  • Procedure to Reclaim Custody:
    • Possession of an identification bracelet does not entitle person to take custody of the child or create a presumption of maternity or paternity.
    • If parental rights have not been terminated, possession of the bracelet allows an individual to participate in court actions regarding the child.
    • If a person claiming to be the parent or agent contacts the Department and requests reunification, the Department may identify or contact the individual as required by law.
    • If a person contacts the department seeking information only, the department may attempt to obtain identifying or medical history information and may provide information regarding the procedures in an abandoned infant case. The person does not have to provide any information, and the department may not attempt to compel response.
Children's Rights
  • Medical Information:
    • Provide relinquisher with medical history form and an envelope with the hospital's address.
    • Relinquisher not required to provide any information.
  • Identifying Information:
    • Safe haven may request information regarding the parents.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Department of Human Services shall proceed as required by law if it appears the child was not harmed.
  • Department may not attempt to identify or contact the parent or agent.
  • If it appears that the child was harmed, the department shall initiate an assessment as required by law.
Notes
  • Enacts a new section to chapter 50-25.1 of the North Dakota Century Code.



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