Safe Haven Laws – UT

, UT

Safe Haven Laws – UT
UT

Infant’s Age
Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-801
A newborn child may be relinquished. The term ‘newborn child’ means a child who is approximately 72 hours old or younger, as determined within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.


Who May Relinquish the Infant
Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-802
The parent or parent’s designee may relinquish the child.


Who May Receive the Infant
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 62A-4a-801; 62A-4a-802
A parent or a parent’s designee may safely relinquish a newborn child at a hospital. The term ‘hospital’ means a general acute
hospital that is:
• Equipped with an emergency room
• Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
• Staffed by full-time health-care professionals who have emergency medical services training
Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-802
Personnel employed by a hospital shall accept a newborn child who is relinquished and may presume that the person relinquishing is
the child’s parent or the parent’s designee.
The person receiving the newborn child may request information regarding the parent and newborn child’s medical histories and
identifying information regarding the nonrelinquishing parent of the child. Personnel employed by a hospital shall provide any
necessary medical care to the child and notify the Division of Child and Family Services as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after receipt of the child.


Immunity for the Provider
Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-802
A hospital and personnel employed by a hospital are immune from any civil or criminal liability arising from accepting a newborn
child if the personnel employed by the hospital substantially comply with the provisions of this part and medical treatment is
administered according to standard medical practice.


Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-802
A parent or a parent’s designee may safely relinquish a newborn child at a hospital and retain complete anonymity as long as the
child has not been subject to abuse or neglect.
Safe relinquishment of a newborn child who has not otherwise been subject to abuse or neglect shall not, in and of itself, constitute
neglect, and the child shall not be considered a neglected child as long as the relinquishment is carried out in substantial compliance
with these provisions.
As long as the person relinquishing a newborn child is the child’s parent or the parent’s designee and there is no abuse or neglect,
safe relinquishment of a newborn child in substantial compliance with these provisions is an affirmative defense to any potential
criminal liability for abandonment or neglect relating to that relinquishment.

Effect on Parental Rights
Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-802
The division shall assume care and custody of the child immediately upon notice from the hospital. Unless identifying information
relating to the nonrelinquishing parent of the newborn child has been provided:
• The division shall work with local law enforcement and the Bureau of Criminal Identification in an effort to ensure that the
newborn child has not been identified as a missing child.
• The division shall immediately place the child in a potential adoptive home and, within 10 days after receipt of the child, file a
petition for termination of parental rights.
• The division shall direct the Office of Vital Records and Statistics to conduct a search for a birth certificate for the child
and an Initiation of Proceedings to Establish Paternity Registry for unmarried biological fathers maintained by the Office of
Vital Records and Statistics within the Department of Health and provide notice to each potential father identified on the
registry. Notice of termination of parental rights proceedings shall be provided in the same manner as is utilized for any other
termination proceeding in which the identity of the child’s parents is unknown.
• If no person has affirmatively identified himself or herself within 2 weeks after notice is complete and established paternity by
scientific testing within as expeditious a timeframe as practicable, a hearing on the petition for termination of parental rights
shall be scheduled.
• If a nonrelinquishing parent is not identified, relinquishment of a newborn child shall be considered grounds for termination of
parental rights of both the relinquishing and nonrelinquishing parents.

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