Infant Safe Haven Laws - Arizona

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Infant's Age

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01

A newborn infant may be relinquished. The term 'newborn infant' means an infant who is 30 days old or younger.

Who May Relinquish the Infant

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01

The child may be relinquished by the parent or an agent of the parent.

Who May Receive the Infant

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01

The child may be left with a designated safe haven provider. A safe haven provider includes any of the following:

  • A firefighter who is on duty
  • An emergency medical technician who is on duty
  • A medical staff member at a general hospital or a rural general hospital
  • A staff member or volunteer at any of the following organizations that posts a public notice that it is willing to accept a newborn infant:
    • A licensed private child welfare agency
    • A licensed adoption agency
    • A church

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3623.01; 8-528

If a parent or an agent of a parent voluntarily delivers the parent's newborn infant to a safe haven provider, the safe haven provider shall take custody of the newborn infant if both of the following are true:

  • The parent did not express an intent to return for the newborn infant.
  • The safe haven provider reasonably believes that the child is a newborn infant.

The safe haven provider shall immediately transport the infant to a hospital for a physical examination.

If the infant is left with a private child welfare or adoption agency and the agency has the ability to place the infant for adoption, the agency shall inform child protective services that it will take custody of the infant within 24 hours. If the agency cannot place the infant for adoption, it shall inform child protective services that it will not take custody of the infant.

If an infant is left with a church and the church is affiliated with a private adoption agency, the provider must immediately inform child protective services that an infant has been left at the church, the location of the hospital where the church transported the infant, and whether a private adoption agency will take custody of the infant.

If the church is not affiliated with a private adoption agency or the agency cannot place the infant for adoption, child protective services shall contact the next private adoption agency on its rotating list of agencies until it contacts an agency that agrees to take custody of the infant. The adoption agency must take custody of the infant from the hospital within 24 hours.

If an infant is left with a firefighter, emergency medical technician, or a hospital staff member, the safe haven provider shall immediately contact child protective services to inform it that an infant has been left and of the location of the hospital where the safe haven provider transported the infant.

Immunity for the Provider

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01

A safe haven provider who receives a newborn infant is not liable for any civil or other damages for any act or omission by the safe haven provider in maintaining custody of the newborn infant if the safe haven provider acts in good faith without gross negligence.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01

A person is not guilty of abuse of a child solely for leaving an unharmed newborn infant with a safe haven provider.

A parent or agent of a parent who leaves a newborn infant with a safe haven provider may remain anonymous, and the safe haven provider shall not require the parent or agent to answer any questions.

Effect on Parental Rights

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-528

These protocols apply only to an unharmed newborn infant who is 30 days of age or younger and who is not alleged to have been neglected or abused. If an infant who is transported to a hospital is older than 30 days or has been harmed, the hospital shall contact the department, and the department shall take custody of the infant.

The term 'custody' means legal authority to act on behalf of a child, including the following:

  • The duty and authority to make decisions that affect the child, including medical decisions
  • The authority to file a petition for termination of parental rights