Safe Haven Laws – Pa

, PA

Safe Haven Laws – Pa
PA

Infant’s Age
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, §§ 6502; 6503
A newborn may be relinquished. The term ‘newborn’ means a child less than 28 days of age as reasonably determined by a physician.


Who May Relinquish the Infant
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6503
The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.


Who May Receive the Infant
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, §§ 6504; 6504.1; 6505
The child may be left with a health-care provider at a hospital or a police officer at a police station. For purposes of this section,
health-care provider includes administrative, managerial, and security personnel employed by a hospital.

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, §§ 6504; 6504.1; 6505
A health-care provider shall do all of the following:
• Take the newborn into protective custody
• Perform a medical evaluation, as well as perform any act necessary to care for and protect the physical health and safety of the newborn
• Notify the county agency and the local municipal police department or the Pennsylvania State Police
When a health-care provider accepts a newborn pursuant to this chapter, a parent or police officer may provide a health-care
provider with information about the newborn’s medical history and any identifying information.
A police officer at a police station shall do all of the following:
• Take the newborn into protective custody
• Ensure the newborn is transported to a hospital and placed into the care of a health-care provider
When a police officer accepts a newborn pursuant to this chapter, a parent may provide the police officer with information about the
newborn’s medical history and any identifying information.
A health-care provider at a hospital shall, in all cases, notify the county agency and the local municipal police department or the
Pennsylvania State Police where no municipal police jurisdiction exists immediately by telephone regarding a newborn accepted by a hospital. A written report shall be submitted within 48 hours after the oral report.


Immunity for the Provider
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6507
Except for a violation of § 6506 (relating to failure to report acceptance of newborns), no hospital, health-care provider at a hospital,
or police department, police officer or administrative or managerial personnel of a police department shall be subject to civil liability
or criminal penalty solely by reason of complying with the provisions of this chapter.


Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6503; Title 18, § 4306
The parent is not criminally liable under any provision of title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses) if the criteria of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4306 are met.
A parent of a newborn shall not be criminally liable for any violation of this title solely for leaving a newborn in the care of a hospital
pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 65 (relating to newborn protection) provided that the following criteria are met:
• The parent expresses, either orally or through conduct, the intent to have the hospital or police officer accept the newborn.
• The newborn is not a victim of child abuse or criminal conduct.


Effect on Parental Rights
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

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