Infant Safe Haven Laws - Alabama

Date: September 2021

Infant's Age

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-1

A child who is 72 hours old or younger may be relinquished under this section.

Who May Relinquish the Infant

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-1

The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.

Who May Receive the Infant

Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-25-1; 26-25-4

An emergency medical services provider, without a court order, shall take possession of the child 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.

The term 'emergency medical services provider' means a licensed hospital that operates an emergency department. The term does not include the offices, clinics, surgeries, or treatment facilities of private physicians or dentists. No individual licensed health-care provider, including physicians, dentists, nurses, physician assistants, or other health professionals, shall be deemed to be an emergency medical services provider unless such individual voluntarily assumes responsibility for the custody of the child.

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider

Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-25-1; 26-25-2

An emergency medical services provider who takes possession of a child shall perform any act necessary to protect the physical health or safety of the child.

The provider shall notify the Department of Human Resources that the provider has taken possession of the child no later than the close of the first business day after the date on which an emergency medical services provider takes possession of a child.

Immunity for the Provider

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-5

No person or other entity subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to any person for any claim for damages as a result of any action taken pursuant to the requirements of this chapter, and no lawsuit shall be predicated thereon.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-3

Relinquishment to a safe haven is an affirmative defense to prosecution for nonsupport, abandonment, or endangering the welfare of a child.

Effect on Parental Rights

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-2

The department shall assume the care, control, and custody of the child immediately on receipt of notice of a relinquishment.