Infant Safe Haven Laws - Oklahoma

Date:

Infant's Age

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-2-109

A child who is 30 days old or younger may be relinquished.

Who May Relinquish the Infant

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-2-109

The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.

Who May Receive the Infant

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-2-109

The following entities shall, without a court order, take possession of a child if the child is voluntarily delivered to the entity by the parent of the child and the parent did not express an intent to return for the child:

  • A medical services provider, including a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner, a registered or practical nurse, and a nurse aide
  • A child rescuer, including any employee or other designated person on duty at a police station, fire station, child protective services agency, hospital, or other medical facility

Delivery of the child may be effectuated by an in-person transfer of the child to the medical services provider or child rescuer or by leaving the child in a newborn safety device that meets the following requirements:

  • It is voluntarily installed by the medical services provider or child rescuer.
  • It is physically located inside a police station, fire station, child protective services agency, hospital, or other medical facility.
  • It is located in an area that is conspicuous and visible to the employees of the police station, fire station, child protective services agency, hospital, or other medical facility.

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-2-109

Any entity to which a parent seeks to relinquish a child pursuant to the provisions of this section may do the following:

  • Request, but not demand, any information about the child, including parents, with respect to reunification with the child and sources of counseling for the parents, if desired

Once a child has been relinquished, the entity receiving the child shall do the following:

  • Perform or provide for the performance of any act necessary to protect the physical health or safety of the child
  • Notify the local office of the Department of Human Services that a child who is 7 days of age or younger has been relinquished and that the entity has taken possession of the child

Immunity for the Provider

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-2-109

A medical services provider or child rescuer with responsibility for performing duties pursuant to this section shall be immune from any criminal liability that might otherwise result from the entity's actions, if acting in good faith in receiving a relinquished child. In addition, such medical provider or child rescuer shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise result from merely receiving a relinquished child.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-2-109

A parent shall not be prosecuted for child abandonment or child neglect when the allegations of child abandonment or child neglect are based solely on the relinquishment of a child 7 days of age or younger to a medical services provider or a child rescuer.

The entity receiving the child shall respect the wish of the parent if the parent desires to remain anonymous.

Effect on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-2-109

The Department of Human Services shall immediately check with law enforcement authorities to determine if a child has been reported missing and whether the missing child could be the relinquished child.

The department shall disseminate information about parents' rights with regard to reunification with a child, including, but not limited to, information on how a parent can contact the appropriate entity regarding reunification and information on sources of counseling for relinquishing parents.