Safe Haven Laws – TX

, TX

Safe Haven Laws – TX
TX

Infant’s Age
Citation: Fam. Code § 262.302
A child who is 60 days old or younger may be relinquished

Who May Relinquish the Infant
Citation: Fam. Code § 262.302
The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.


Who May Receive the Infant
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 262.301; 262.302
A designated emergency infant care provider shall, without a court order, take possession of a child who appears to be 60 days old
or younger if the child is voluntarily delivered to the provider by the child’s parent, and the parent did not express an intent to return
for the child. A designated emergency infant care provider includes:
• An emergency medical services provider
• A hospital
• A licensed freestanding emergency medical care facility
• A licensed child-placing agency that:
» Agrees to act as a designated emergency infant care provider
» Has on staff a person who is licensed as a registered nurse or who provides emergency services and who will examine and
provide emergency medical services to a child taken into possession


Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 262.302; 262.303
A designated emergency infant care provider who takes possession of a child has no legal duty to detain or pursue the parent and
may not do so unless the child appears to have been abused or neglected. The designated emergency infant care provider has no
legal duty to ascertain the parent’s identity, and the parent may remain anonymous. However, the parent may be given a form for
voluntary disclosure of the child’s medical facts and history.
A designated emergency infant care provider who takes possession of a child under this section shall perform any act necessary to
protect the physical health or safety of the child.
The provider shall notify the Department of Family and Protective Services that the provider has taken possession of the child no
later than the close of the first business day after the date on which a designated emergency infant care provider takes possession of
a child. The department shall assume the care, control, and custody of the child immediately on receipt of notice.


Immunity for the Provider
Citation: Fam. Code § 262.302
The designated emergency infant care provider is not liable for damages related to the provider’s taking possession of, examining,
or treating the child, except for damages related to the provider’s negligence.


Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Citation: Penal Code § 22.041(h); Fam. Code § 262.308
The parent may remain anonymous. All identifying information, documentation, or other records regarding a person who voluntarily
delivers a child to a designated emergency infant care provider under this subchapter is confidential and not subject to release to
any individual or entity.
It is an exception to the application of the law prohibiting abandonment or endangerment of a child that the actor voluntarily
delivered the child to a designated emergency infant care provider.


Effect on Parental Rights
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 262.304; 262.305; 262.309; 262.105
A child for whom the department assumes care, control, and custody shall be treated as a child taken into possession without a court
order. When a child is taken into possession without a court order, the person taking the child into possession, without unnecessary
delay, shall:
• File a suit affecting the parent-child relationship
• Request the court to appoint an attorney ad litem for the child
• Request an initial hearing to be held by no later than the first working day after the date the child is taken into possession
If the department files a suit affecting the parent-child relationship seeking termination of the parent-child relationship, the
department shall file the suit no later than the 45th day after the date the department assumes the care, control, and custody of the child.

Immediately after assuming care, control, and custody of a child, the department shall report the child to the appropriate State
and local law enforcement agencies as a potential missing child. A law enforcement agency that receives a report shall investigate
whether the child is reported as missing.
The department is not required to conduct a search for the relatives of a child for whom the department assumes care, control, and
custody under this subchapter

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