Safe Haven Laws – IA

, IA

Safe Haven Laws – IA
IA

Infant’s Age
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 233.1
A newborn infant may be relinquished. The term ‘newborn infant’ means a child who is, or who appears to be, 14 days old or younger.

Who May Relinquish the Infant
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 233.2
A parent of a newborn infant may voluntarily release custody of the newborn infant by relinquishing physical custody of the newborn
infant without expressing an intent to again assume physical custody at an institutional health facility or by authorizing another
person to relinquish physical custody on the parent’s behalf.


Who May Receive the Infant
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 233.1
The child be may relinquished to an institutional health facility. The term ‘institutional health facility’ means a hospital, including a
facility providing medical or health services that is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and is a hospital emergency room or a health-care facility.


Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 233.2
Unless the parent or other person relinquishing physical custody of a newborn infant clearly expresses an intent to return to again
assume physical custody of the newborn infant, an individual on duty at the facility at which physical custody of the newborn infant
was relinquished shall take physical custody of the newborn infant.
The individual on duty may request the parent or other person to provide the name of the parent or parents and information on the
medical history of the newborn infant and the newborn infant’s parent or parents. The individual on duty may perform reasonable
acts necessary to protect the physical health or safety of the newborn infant.
As soon as possible after the individual on duty assumes physical custody of a newborn infant, the individual shall notify the
Department of Human Services, and the department shall take the actions necessary to assume the care, control, and custody of
the newborn infant. Within 24 hours of taking custody of the newborn infant, the department shall notify the juvenile court and the
county attorney in writing of the department’s action and the circumstances surrounding the action.


Immunity for the Provider
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 233.2
The individual on duty and the institutional health facility in which the individual was on duty are immune from criminal or civil liability
for any acts or omissions made in good faith to comply with this section.


Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 233.2; 233.3; 233.5
The parent or other person is not required to provide his or her name or medical history information.
Any person authorized by the parent to assist with release of custody by relinquishing physical custody of the newborn infant or to
otherwise act on the parent’s behalf is immune from criminal prosecution for abandonment or neglect of the newborn infant and civil
liability for any reasonable acts or omissions made in good faith in assisting with the release.
In addition to any other privacy protection established in law, a record that is developed, acquired, or held in connection with an
individual’s good-faith effort to voluntarily release a newborn infant in accordance with this chapter and any identifying information
concerning the individual shall be kept confidential. Such record shall not be inspected or the contents disclosed except as provided
in this section.


Effect on Parental Rights
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 233.2; 233.4
Upon being notified in writing by the department, the county attorney shall file a petition alleging the newborn infant to be a child
in need of assistance and a petition for termination of parental rights. A hearing on a termination of parental rights petition shall be
held no later than 30 days after the day the physical custody of the newborn child was relinquished.
Notice of a petition shall be provided to any known parent and shall be served upon any putative father registered with the State
Registrar of Vital Statistics.

Either parent of a relinquished newborn infant may intervene in the child in need of assistance or termination of parental rights
proceedings held regarding the newborn infant and request that the juvenile court grant custody of the newborn infant to the
parent. The requester must show by clear and convincing evidence that the requester is the parent of the newborn infant. If the court
determines that the requester is the parent of the newborn infant and that granting custody of the newborn infant to the parent is in
the newborn infant’s best interest, the court shall issue an order granting custody of the newborn infant to the parent. In addition to
such order, the court may order services for the newborn infant and the parent as are in the best interest of the newborn infant.

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