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

 
 

List of Enacted State Safe Haven Legislation

CWLA Summary for West Virginia

Which babies may be relinquished?
  • Child must be less than 30 days old.
Who may relinquish a baby?
  • Parent:
    • Voluntarily delivers the 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?
  • Anonymity:
    • Safe haven may not require the relinquisher to identify himself or herself, and shall respect the relinquisher's desire to remain anonymous.
  • Protection from Liability:
    • Affirmative defense to certain prosecution.
Who can accept a relinquished baby?
  • Hospital or health care facility.
What are the responsibilities of a Safe Haven?
  • Take possession of the child.
  • Perform any act necessary to protect the health or safety of the child.
  • May not require the relinquisher to identify himself or herself.
  • Respect the relinquisher's desire to remain anonymous.
  • Notify the child protective services division of the department of health and human resources and provide any information given by the relinquisher no later than the close of the first business day after the date the hospital takes possession.
  • Refer any inquiries about the child to the department of health and human resources protective services division.
Care for the Child/Placement for Adoption
  • Department of Health and Human Resources shall assume the care, control and custody of the child.
  • May contract with private child care agency for the care and placement of the child.
  • Child shall be deemed an abandoned child and be treated in all respects as a child taken into custody under existing law.
  • With the cooperation of the county prosecuting attorney, present a petition in accordance with the law for abandoned children.
  • Child shall be eligible for adoption as an abandoned child.
Notes
  • Amends chapter 49 of the code of West Verginia, 1931.



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