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List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for South Dakota

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be less than 60 days old.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent:
    • Voluntarily delivers child to 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?
  • Protection from Liability:
    • Relinquishment is not a crime if the child was unharmed.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Emergency medical services provider
    • Licensed health care facility or clinic
    • Law enforcement officer
    • Emergency medical technician
    • Firefighter
  • Licensed child placement agency
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Take possession of the child.
  • Perform any act necessary to protect the health and safety of the child.
  • May ask the parent for pertinent medical information.
    • Parent not required to provide any information.
  • Immediately notify the Department of Social Services.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: Immune from civil, criminal, and administrative liability.
Children's Rights
  • Medical Information:
    • Safe haven may ask the parent for pertinent medical information.
    • Parent not required to provide any information.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Department of Social Services shall assume the care, custody, and control of the child.
    • However, a licensed child placement agency that has taken possession of a child may assume the care, custody and control of the child.
  • May not attempt to identify, contact, or investigate the parent who delivered the child unless it appears the child has been harmed.
  • After 14 days, the parental rights of the parent who relinquished the child are terminated, and the child becomes a ward of the state or licensed child placement agency.
  • 60 days after child is relinquished, a hearing shall be held to terminate parental rights.
Non-Relinquishing Parent's Rights
  • If one parent relinquishes custody, the other parent may file for custody.
    • Must file within 30 days after the child is relinquished.
    • Must prove he/she is the parent of the child.
    • Must prove he/she did not consent to relinquishment.
  • Due regard in the administration of this Act shall be afforded to the Indian Child Welfare Act if that Act is applicable.

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