Infant Safe Haven Laws - Georgia

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Infant's Age

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-10A-4

A newborn child who is no more than 30 days old may be relinquished.

Who May Relinquish the Infant

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-10A-4

The mother of the child may relinquish the child.

Who May Receive the Infant

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 19-10A-2; 19-10A-4

The child's mother may leave her newborn child in the physical custody of an employee, agent, or member of the staff of a medical facility, fire station, or police station who is on duty, whether there in a paid or volunteer position.

The term 'fire station' means a facility of any fire department that is authorized to exercise the general and emergency powers enumerated in §§ 25-3-1 and 25-3-2. The term 'medical facility' means any licensed general or specialized hospital, institutional infirmary, health center operated by a county board of health, or facility where human births occur on a regular and ongoing basis that is classified by the Department of Community Health as a birthing center, but the term shall not mean physicians' or dentists' private offices. The term 'police station' means a facility of any sheriff's office, municipal police department, or county police department.

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-10A-6

A medical facility, fire station, or police station shall accept the child for inpatient admission and notify the Department of Human Services when the child is left and at the time the child is medically ready for discharge.

Immunity for the Provider

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-10A-7

Medical facilities, fire stations, or police stations and their employees, agents, and staff members shall not be liable for civil damages or subject to criminal prosecution for failure to discharge the duties provided for in this chapter. The immunity provided in this chapter shall in no way be construed as providing immunity for any acts of negligent treatment of the child taken into custody.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-10A-4

A mother shall not be prosecuted for the crimes of cruelty to a child; contributing to the delinquency, unruliness, or deprivation of a child; or abandonment of a dependent child because of the act of leaving her newborn child in the physical custody of an employee, agent, or member of the staff of a medical facility, fire station, or police station who is on duty, whether they are in a paid or volunteer position, provided that the newborn child is no more than 30 days old and the mother shows proof of her identity, if willing, to the person with whom the newborn is left and provides her name and address, if willing.

Effect on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-10A-6

Upon notification that the child is medically ready for discharge, the Department of Human Services shall take physical custody of the child within 6 hours. The department, upon taking physical custody, shall promptly bring the child before the juvenile court to determine placement, as required by § 15-11-47.