Safe Haven Laws – WV

, WV

Safe Haven Laws – WV
WV

Infant’s Age
Citation: Ann. Code § 49-4-201
A child who is younger than 30 days old may be relinquished.


Who May Relinquish the Infant
Citation: Ann. Code § 49-4-201
The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.


Who May Receive the Infant
Citation: Ann. Code § 49-4-201
The child may be left at a hospital or health-care facility.


Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 49-4-201; 49-4-202
The hospital or health-care facility shall, without a court order, take possession of a child if the child is voluntarily delivered to the
hospital or health-care facility by the child’s parent within 30 days of the child’s birth, and the parent did not express an intent to
return for the child. A hospital or health-care facility that takes possession of a child shall perform any act necessary to protect the
physical health or safety of the child.
The hospital or health-care facility shall notify the Child Protective Services Division of the Department of Health and Human
Resources that it has taken possession of the child no later than the close of the first business day after the hospital or health-care
facility takes possession of a child and shall provide to the department any information provided by the parent delivering the child.
The hospital or health-care facility shall refer any inquiries about the child to the Department of Health and Human Resources’ protective services division.


Immunity for the Provider
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.


Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 49-4-201; 49-4-203; 49-4-204
In accepting possession of the child, the hospital or health-care facility may not require the person to identify him or herself and shall
otherwise respect the person’s desire to remain anonymous.
The department and county prosecuting attorney may not identify in a dependency petition the parent(s) who utilized this article to relinquish his or her child.
A parent who relinquishes his or her child in good faith within 30 days of the child’s birth under this article is immune from prosecution under § 61-8D-4(a).


Effect on Parental Rights
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 49-4-202; 49-4-203; 49-4-205
The Department of Health and Human Resources shall assume the care, control, and custody of the child at the time of delivery of
the child to the hospital or health-care facility and may contract with a private child care agency for the care and placement of the child after the child leaves the hospital or health-care facility.

A child of whom the department assumes care, control and custody under this article is a relinquished child and to be treated in all
respects as a child taken into emergency custody pursuant to § 49-4-303. Upon taking custody of a child under this article, the
department, with the cooperation of the county prosecuting attorney, shall cause a petition pursuant to § 49-4-602 to obtain
court-ordered custody of the child. Thereafter, the department shall initiate dependency proceedings in compliance with § 49-4-601, et seq.
The child shall be eligible for adoption as an abandoned child under chapter 48

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