Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority

 

Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority
About Us
CWLA
Special Initiatives
CWLA
Advocacy
CWLA
Membership
CWLA
News and Media Center
CWLA
Programs
CWLA
Research and Data
CWLA
Publications
CWLA
Conferences and Training
CWLA
Culture and Diversity
CWLA
Consultation
CWLA
Support CWLA
CWLA Members Only Content
       
 

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

 
 

List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for Rhode Island

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • "Infant:" child which is 30 days old or younger.
  • Child must be unharmed.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent or person acting at the direction of the parent:
    • Must voluntarily leave the child with a staff member at the safe haven.
    • 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?
  • Anonymity:
    • Any information voluntarily provided by the relinquisher about the identity or medical history of the child, family, or relinquisher is confidential.
  • Protection from Liability:
    • Immune from prosecution for abandonment.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Hospital
  • Medical emergency facility
  • Fire station
  • Police station
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Take temporary physical custody of the child.
  • Must not require relinquisher to provide any information.
    • Person may voluntarily provide information about the identity and medical history of himself/herself, the child, or the parents.
    • Information about identity is confidential.
  • Offer the relinquisher written information about the legal effect of leaving the child (developed and provided at no charge by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families).
  • Safe haven is authorized to provide medical care and treatment necessary for the childs well being.
  • Immediately notify the Department of Children, Youth and Families. (Department shall establish a procedure by which a safe haven can notify the Department.)
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: Immune from criminal or civil liability.
Rights of the Relinquishing Parent
  • Provide Information to Relinquisher:
    • Safe haven shall offer the relinquisher written information about the legal effect of leaving the child.
Children's Rights
  • Medical Information:
    • Relinquisher may voluntarily provide information about the medical history of the child and parents.
  • Identifying Information:
    • Relinquisher may voluntarily provide information about the identity of the child and parents.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Department of Children, Youth, and Families shall immediately respond to the safe haven and take the child into temporary protective custody.
  • Make arrangements for the child to undergo a comprehensive medical exam.
  • File an emergency petition for the removal of the child from the care and custody of the parents.
  • Commence proceedings to terminate parental rights in accordance with existing law (RIGL section 15-7-7).
    • Provided that no person has asserted a claim to be the parent within 90 days of the Department taking custody of the child
  • Leaving a child at a safe haven and failing to assert a claim within 90 days shall be prima facie evidence of permanent abandonment in the termination of parental rights proceedings.
Efficacy of Safe Havens - Public Information Campaigns
  • Department of Children, Youth, and Families shall establish a "Safe Haven for Infants Awareness Program," including a toll free telephone line, pamphlets and literature, and advertisements to disseminate information relative to this law.
Long-Term Solutions
  • Collect Data on Relinquishment:
    • Department of Children, Youth, and Families shall report annually to the general assembly as to the status of any children left at safe havens and the costs incurred to the department.
Notes
  • Amends Title 23 of the General Laws entitled "Health and Safety."



 Back to Top   Printer-friendly Page Printer-friendly Page   Contact Us Contact Us

 
 

 

 


About Us | Special Initiatives | Advocacy | Membership | News & Media Center | Practice Areas | Support CWLA
Research/Data | Publications | Webstore | Conferences/Training | Culture/Diversity | Consultation/Training

All Content and Images Copyright Child Welfare League of America. All Rights Reserved.
See also Legal Information, Privacy Policy, Browser Compatibility Statement

CWLA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and access for all individuals.
No employee, applicant for employment, or member of the public shall be discriminated against
on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or
any other personal characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.