Infant Safe Haven Laws - Colorado

Date:

Infant's Age

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304.5

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

Who May Relinquish the Infant

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304.5

The parent of the child may voluntarily relinquish the child.

Who May Receive the Infant

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304.5

A child may be delivered to either of the following:

  • A firefighter when the firefighter is at a fire station
  • A hospital staff member who engages in the admission, care, or treatment of patients when the staff member is at a hospital or community clinic emergency center

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304.5

When a firefighter is at a fire station or a hospital staff member is at a hospital or community clinic emergency center, the firefighter or hospital staff member shall, without a court order, take temporary physical custody of the child if the following are true:

  • The child is 72 hours old or younger.
  • The parent did not express an intent to return for the child.

If a firefighter or hospital or community clinic emergency center staff member takes temporary physical custody of a child, he or she shall do the following:

  • Perform any act necessary, in accordance with generally accepted standards of professional practice, to protect, preserve, or aid the physical health or safety of the child during the temporary physical custody
  • Notify a law enforcement officer and the county department of human or social services of the abandonment within 24 hours after the abandonment

Immunity for the Provider

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304.5

A firefighter or hospital or community clinic emergency center staff member shall incur no civil or criminal liability for any good-faith acts or omissions performed pursuant to this section.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 18-6-401(9): 19-3-304.5

A parent who utilizes the provisions of this section shall not, for that reason alone, be found to be responsible in a confirmed report of abuse or neglect.

If a parent is charged with permitting a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that poses a threat of injury to the child's life or health, and the child was 72 hours old or younger at the time of the alleged offense, it shall be an affirmative defense to such charge that the parent safely, reasonably, and knowingly handed the child over to a firefighter or to a hospital or community clinic emergency center staff member who engages in the admission, care, or treatment of patients, when such firefighter is at a fire station or such hospital staff member is at a hospital or community clinic emergency center.

Effect on Parental Rights

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304.5

A county department of human or social services shall do the following:

  • Place an abandoned child with a potential adoptive parent as soon as possible
  • Proceed with a motion to terminate the parental rights of a parent who abandons a child