The Safe Haven Act is a law that allows parents - or another person who has the parent's authorization - to leave an infant up to 30 days old at a hospital or health care facility without fear of prosecution for abandonment. A parent may also contact 911 and relinquish physical custody of an infant up to 30 days old to a first responder of the 911 call. More than 30 children have been declared safe havens since the Iowa law was enacted in 2002. All states have Safe Haven laws, although provisions differ.
Requirements for Parents
A parent - or another person authorized by the parent to relinquish physical custody of an infant:
| Directly relinquish physical custody of an infant to an individual on duty at:
Be required to provide identifying information.
| Leave the infant at a hospital or health care facility and immediately contact the facility or call a 911 service to be sure that:
||Be charged with abandonment.|
The law provides immunity from prosecution for abandonment for a parent - or a person acting with the parent's authorization - who leaves an infant at a hospital or health care facility.
The Safe Haven Act provides immunity from civil or criminal liability for hospitals, health care facilities, and persons employed by those facilities that perform reasonable acts necessary to protect the physical health and safety of the infant.