Infant Safe Haven Laws - Alaska

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Infant's Age

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 11.81.500; 47.10.013

An infant who is younger than 21 days of age may be surrendered.

Who May Relinquish the Infant

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.10.013

An infant may be surrendered by his or her parent.

Who May Receive the Infant

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.10.013

The infant may be left in the physical custody of any of the following:

  • A person the parent reasonably believes would provide for the health and safety of the infant and who would act appropriately to care for the infant
  • A peace officer, community health aide, physician, or hospital employee
  • A person who is employed by or is a volunteer for a fire department or emergency medical service, if the person is acting within the scope of the person's fire department or emergency medical service duties

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.10.013

A person to whom an infant is surrendered shall do the following:

  • Act appropriately to care for the infant
  • Inform the parent that the parent may, but is not required to, answer any questions regarding the name, identity, and medical history of the infant and parents of the infant
  • Ask the parent if the parent wishes to relinquish the parent's parental rights and release the infant for adoption
  • Immediately notify the nearest office of the Department of Health and Social Services that the infant has been surrendered

If the parent indicates that he or she does wish to relinquish the child for adoption, the person shall contact the department so that the parent can discuss that option with the department.

Immunity for the Provider

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.10.013

An individual, agency, facility, or entity that receives a safely abandoned infant under this section is not liable for civil damages for failure to discharge the duties listed above.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 11.81.500

A parent may not be criminally prosecuted for surrendering a child of the parent if the following are true:

  • The child is an infant who is younger than 21 days of age.
  • The child is surrendered in the manner described in § 47.10.013(c).
  • The child is not the subject of a court order affecting custody of the child.

There must be no evidence that the infant has been physically injured before abandonment.

Effect on Parental Rights

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.10.013

When an infant is surrendered as described in this section, the infant's parent is considered to have abandoned the infant safely. The parent's legal duty to support the infant is extinguished if the parent, without expressing an intent to return for the infant, leaves the infant in the physical custody of a designated safe haven entity.