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List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for Texas

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be 60 days old or younger.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent:
    • Voluntarily delivers the child to a 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:
    • Affirmative defense to prosecution.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Emergency medical services provider
  • Employee at a licensed child-placing agency
  • Employee at a licensed residential child-care provider
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 Protective and Regulatory Services not later than the close of the first business day after the date the provider took possession of the child.
  • Licensed child-placing agencies and residential child-care providers shall post a notice stating that the agencies are designated emergency infant care providers.
  • Relinquishment may be grounds for the termination of parental rights.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Department of Protective and Regulatory Services shall assume the care, control and custody of the child immediately.
  • Treat the child as a child taken into possession without a court order, and take action as required by law.
  • Reimburse licensed residential child-care providers with whom the Department does not contract to provide substitute care for the cost of assuming the care, control, and custody of the child.
  • Amends Section 161.001, Family Code.

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