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

 
 

List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for Utah

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • "Newborn Child:" Child who is approximately 72 hours of age or younger, as determined within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
  • Child must not be subject to abuse or neglect.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent or parent's designee.
What are the incentives for a person to relinquish a baby at a Safe Haven?
  • Protection from Liability:
    • Relinquishment shall not constitute neglect or abandonment. Affirmative defense to any potential criminal liability for abandonment or neglect relating to the relinquishment.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Hospital
    • With an emergency room
    • Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • Employs full-time health care professionals who have emergency medical services training
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Accept the child.
  • Presume that the relinquisher is the child's parent or the parent's designee.
  • May request information regarding the parent and child's medical histories and identifying information about the other parent.
    • Division of Child and Family Services shall provide hospitals with medical history forms and stamped envelopes addressed to the division.
  • Provide any necessary medical care to the child.
  • Notify the division as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after receipt of the child.
  • Prepare a birth certificate and file with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics.
Is the Safe Haven protected from liability for its actions?
  • Yes: Immune from civil or criminal liability.
Children's Rights
  • Medical Information:
    • Safe haven may request information regarding the parent and child's medical histories.
    • Division of Child and Family Services shall provide hospitals with medical history forms and stamped envelopes addressed to the division.
  • Identifying Information:
    • Safe haven may request identifying information about the other (non-relinquishing) parent.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Division of Child and Family Services shall assume care and custody of the child immediately.
  • If there has been no abuse or neglect, neither parent is subject to:
    • The provisions of Part 2 of this chapter, Child Welfare Services.
    • The investigation provisions contained in Section 62A-4a-409.
    • The provisions of Title 78, Chapter 3a, Part 3, Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency.
  • Unless identifying information relating to the non-relinquishing parent has been provided:
    • Work with local law enforcement to ensure the child is not a missing child.
    • Immediately place the child in a potential adoptive home.
    • Within 10 days of receipt of the child, file a petition for termination of parental rights.
    • Direct the Office of Vital Records and Statistics to conduct a search for a birth certificate and an Initiation of Proceedings to Establish Paternity Registry for unmarried biological fathers; provide notice to each potential father identified on the registry.
    • If no father has identified himself within 2 weeks after notice is complete, a hearing on the petition for termination of parental rights shall be scheduled.
  • If a non-relinquishing parent is not identified, relinquishment shall be considered grounds for termination of parental rights of both parents.
  • Provide for, or contract with a licensed child-placing agency to provide for expeditious adoption of the child.
Fathers' Rights
  • Search Putative Father Registries:
    • Direct the Office of Vital Records and Statistics to conduct a search for a birth certificate and an Initiation of Proceedings to Establish Paternity Registry for unmarried biological fathers; provide notice to each potential father identified on the registry.
Long-Term Solutions
  • Repeal Dates:
    • July 1, 2006
Notes
  • Amends Utah Code Annotated 1953, 62A-4a-101, 63-55-262, 78-3a-103, 78-3a-407; Enacts 62A-4a-801, 62A-4a-802.



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