Infant Safe Haven Laws - Virginia

Date:

Infant's Age

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 18.2-371.1; 40.1-103

A child may be relinquished within the first 14 days after his or her birth.

Who May Relinquish the Infant

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 18.2-371.1; 40.1-103

The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.

Who May Receive the Infant

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 18.2-371.1; 40.1-103

The child may be delivered to either of the following:

  • A hospital that provides 24-hour emergency services
  • An emergency medical services agency

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Immunity for the Provider

Citation: Ann. Code § 8.01-226.5:2

Any personnel of a hospital or emergency medical services agency receiving a child who has been voluntarily relinquished by his or her parent shall be immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution for injury or other damage to the child unless such injury or other damage is the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct by such personnel.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 18.2-371.1; 40.1-103

Relinquishment of the child shall be an affirmative defense to prosecution of a parent for abuse or neglect of children, cruelty to children, or endangering a child. In order for the affirmative defense to apply, the child shall be delivered in a manner reasonably calculated to ensure the child's safety.

Effect on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-910.1

A local department shall have authority to do the following:

  • Take custody of abandoned children
  • Arrange an appropriate placement for abandoned children
  • Institute proceedings to terminate the parental rights of a parent of an abandoned child