Safe Haven Laws – WI

, WI

Safe Haven Laws – WI
WI

Infant’s Age
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.195
A child who is 72 hours old or younger may be relinquished.


Who May Relinquish the Infant
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.195
The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.


Who May Receive the Infant
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.195
The child may be left at a sheriff’s office, police station, fire station, hospital, or other place where a law enforcement officer,
emergency medical technician, or hospital staff member is located.


Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.195
The safe haven provider shall:
• Take custody of a child the provider reasonably believes to be 72 hours old or younger who is left by a parent who does not
express an intent to return for the child
• Take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of the child
• Deliver the child to an intake worker under § 48.20 within 24 hours after taking the child into custody
• Make available to the parent the maternal and child health toll-free telephone number maintained by the department
The decision whether to accept the information made available is entirely voluntary on the part of the parent. No person may induce,
coerce, or attempt to induce or coerce any parent into accepting that information.
If a parent who wishes to relinquish custody of his or her child is unable to travel to a safe haven provider, the parent may dial the
telephone number.


Immunity for the Provider
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.195
Any law enforcement officer, emergency medical technician, or hospital staff member who takes a child into custody is immune from
any civil liability to the child’s parents or any criminal liability for any good-faith act or omission occurring solely in connection with
the act of receiving custody of the child from the child’s parents, but is not immune from any civil or criminal liability for any act or
omission occurring in subsequently providing care for the child.
In any civil or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a person specified above is presumed. This presumption may be overcome only
by clear and convincing evidence.


Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.195
The parent and any person who assists the parent have the right to remain anonymous. No person may induce, coerce, or attempt to
induce or coerce a parent who wishes to remain anonymous into revealing his or her identity, unless the person has reasonable cause
to suspect that the child has been the victim of abuse or neglect or that the person assisting the parent is coercing the parent into
relinquishing custody of the child.

A parent who relinquishes a child and any person who assists the parent may leave the presence of the safe haven provider at any
time, and no person may follow or pursue the parent or person assisting the parent, unless the person has reasonable cause to
suspect that the child has been the victim of abuse or neglect or that the person assisting the parent has coerced the parent into
relinquishing custody of the child.
No officer, employee, or agent of this State may attempt to locate or ascertain the identity of a parent who relinquishes a child,
unless the officer, employee, or agent has reasonable cause to suspect that the child has been the victim of abuse or neglect or that
the person assisting the parent has coerced the parent into relinquishing the child.
Any person who obtains any information relating to the relinquishment of a child shall keep that information confidential and may not
disclose that information, except as specified in statute.
Any parent who relinquishes his or her child and any person who assists the parent are immune from any civil or criminal liability
for any good-faith act or omission in connection with that relinquishment. The immunity granted under this paragraph includes immunity for exercising the right to remain anonymous, the right to leave at any time, and the right not to accept any information and immunity from prosecution for abandonment of a child or for neglecting a child.

Effect on Parental Rights
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 48.195; 48.415
The department shall promulgate rules to implement this section. The rules shall include rules prescribing a means by which a parent
who relinquishes custody of his or her child may, until the granting of an order terminating parental rights, choose to be identified as
the child’s parent.
The court may grant involuntary termination of parental rights on the grounds that custody has been relinquished.

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