HB2410 - 551R - I Ver

 

 

 

REFERENCE TITLE: safe havens; newborn infant age

 

 

 

 

State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fifth Legislature

First Regular Session

2021

 

 

HB 2410

 

Introduced by

Representative Espinoza

 

 

AN ACT

 

amending sections 8   528 and 13   3623.01, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to safe havens.

 

 

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section  1.    Section 8-528, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE8-528.    Newborn infants left with safe haven providers; placement protocol; definitions

A.    The placement of newborn infants who are left with safe haven providers pursuant to section 13   3623.01 shall follow the protocols prescribed in this section.

B.    If a newborn infant is left with a private child welfare agency that is licensed pursuant to this article or with a private adoption agency that is licensed pursuant to section 8   126 and the agency has the ability and desire to take custody of the infant and to place the infant for adoption, the safe haven provider shall do the following:

1.    Immediately transport the newborn infant or arrange for the newborn infant to be transported to a hospital for a physical examination.

2.    Immediately call the department to inform it that a newborn infant has been left with the safe haven provider, of the location of the hospital where the agency transported the infant or arranged for the infant to be transported and that the agency will take custody of the infant after the hospital completes the physical examination.

3.    Take custody of the newborn infant from the hospital within twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination.

C.    If the private child welfare agency or private adoption agency does not have the ability or desire to take custody of the newborn infant and place the infant for adoption, the agency shall do the following:

1.    Immediately transport the newborn infant or arrange for the newborn infant to be transported to a hospital for a physical examination.

2.    Immediately call the department to inform it that a newborn infant has been left with the safe haven provider, of the location of the hospital where the agency transported the infant or arranged for the infant to be transported and that the agency will not take custody of the infant after the hospital completes the physical examination.

D.    If a newborn infant is left with a church, the safe haven provider must do the following:

1.    Immediately transport the newborn infant or arrange for the newborn infant to be transported to a hospital for a physical examination.

2.    If the church is affiliated with a private adoption agency, contact the private adoption agency and inform the agency that a newborn infant has been left with the safe haven provider.

3.    Immediately call the department to inform it that an a newborn infant has been left at the church, of the location of the hospital where the church transported the infant or arranged for the infant to be transported and whether a private adoption agency will take custody of the infant.

E.    If the agency contacted pursuant to subsection D of this section has the ability and desire to take custody of the newborn infant and place the infant for adoption, the agency must take custody of the infant within twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination.

F.    If the church is not affiliated with a private adoption agency or the private adoption agency does not have the ability or desire to take custody of the newborn infant and place the infant for adoption, the department shall contact the next private adoption agency on a rotating list of agencies maintained by the department 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 twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination.

G.    If a newborn infant is left with a firefighter who is on duty, an emergency medical technician who is on duty or a staff member at a health care institution that is classified by the department of health services pursuant to section 36   405 as a general hospital or a rural general hospital, the safe haven provider shall do the following:

1.    Immediately transport the newborn infant to a hospital for a physical examination.

2.    Immediately contact the department of child safety to inform it that a newborn infant has been left at a fire station or health care institution and of the location of the hospital where the safe haven provider transported the infant.

H.    Within eight hours after the department is contacted pursuant to subsection C or G of this section, the department shall contact the next private adoption agency on a rotating list maintained by the department until the department contacts an agency that agrees to take custody of the newborn infant.    The adoption agency must take custody of the infant from the hospital within twenty   four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination.

I.    If an agency does not take custody of the newborn infant within twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination, the hospital shall contact the department, and the department shall contact the next private adoption agency on its rotating list until an agency agrees to take custody of the infant.

J.    If no agency takes custody of the newborn infant pursuant to this section within forty-eight hours after the hospital completes the physical examination, the department shall take custody of the infant.

K.    Notwithstanding any other law, before a private adoption agency or the department takes custody of an a newborn infant pursuant to this section, a health care provider, as defined in section 36   3201, may make health care treatment decisions for the infant.   A health care provider who makes a good faith medical decision pursuant to this subsection is immune from liability.

L.    The safe haven provider that takes custody of the newborn infant shall act as the responsible adult and complete the Arizona health care cost containment system application process on behalf of the infant.    If the child is determined ineligible for the Arizona health care cost containment system or if the Arizona health care cost containment system administration does not reimburse the hospital for the medical examination and treatment provided to the infant, the entity or individual that ultimately takes custody of the infant must compensate the hospital for the medical examination and treatment provided to the infant.

M.    An agency that takes custody of the newborn infant must comply with all state and federal laws regarding adoption and placement of children.

N.    The department shall inform an agency when it has rotated to the top of the contact list and inform it that the department will notify it the next time a newborn infant is left with a safe haven provider.

O.    A private adoption agency may contact the department to be placed on the rotating list maintained by the department pursuant to this section if it:

1.    Is a nonprofit agency.

2.    Does not specialize in international adoptions.

3.    Has a twenty   four hour emergency contact number.

P.    The protocols prescribed in this section apply only to an infant who is seventy   two hours five days of age or younger and who is not abused.   If an infant who is transported to a hospital is older than seventy-two hours five days or has been abused, the hospital shall contact the department, and the department shall take custody of the infant.

Q.    For the purposes of this section:

1.    "Church" has the same meaning prescribed in section 13   3623.01, subsection H, paragraph 2, subdivision (d), item (iii).

2.    "Custody" means legal authority to act on behalf of a child including the following:

(a)    The duty and authority to make decisions that affect the child, including medical decisions.

(b)    The authority to file a petition for termination of parental rights. END_STATUTE

Sec.  2.    Section 13-3623.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE13-3623.01.    Safe haven for newborn infants; definitions

A.    A person is not guilty of abuse of a child pursuant to section 13   3623, subsection B solely for leaving an unharmed newborn infant with a safe haven provider.

B.    A fire station and a health care institution that is classified by the department of health services pursuant to section 36   405 as a general hospital or a rural general hospital shall post a notice that it accepts a newborn infant pursuant to this section.   The notice shall be placed on the exterior of the building in a location that is noticeable to the public.   The words "baby safe haven" shall be printed in bold   faced capital letters that are not less than two inches in height.    The notice may include an identifying logo.   A fire station or hospital that does not post a notice as prescribed by this subsection is not subject to civil liability.   A notice that is valid before September 30, 2009 remains valid after September 30, 2009.

C.    If a parent or 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:

1.    The parent did not express an intent to return for the newborn infant.

2.    The safe haven provider reasonably believes that the child is a newborn infant.

D.    The safe haven provider shall comply with the requirements of section 8   528 and report the receipt of a newborn infant to of the department of child safety as soon as practicable after taking custody of the newborn infant.   The department shall report the number of newborn infants delivered to safe haven providers pursuant to section 8   526.

E.    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.   A safe haven provider shall offer written information about information and referral organizations.

F.    A safe haven provider who receives a newborn infant pursuant to this section 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.

G.    This section does not preclude the prosecution of the person for any offense based on any act not covered by this section.

H.    For the purposes of this section:

1.    "Newborn infant" means an infant who is seventy   two hours five days old or younger.

2.    "Safe haven provider" means any of the following:

(a)    A firefighter who is on duty.

(b)    An emergency medical technician who is on duty.

(c)    A health care institution that is classified by the department of health services pursuant to section 36   405 as a general hospital or a rural general hospital.   The parent or agent must deliver the newborn infant to a medical staff member at the health care institution.

(d)    A staff member or volunteer at any of the following that posts a public notice that it is willing to accept a newborn infant pursuant to this section:

(i)    A private child welfare agency licensed pursuant to title 8, chapter 4, article 4.

(ii)    An adoption agency licensed pursuant to section 8   126.

(iii)    A church.   For the purposes of this item, "church" means a building that is erected or converted for use as a church, where services are regularly convened, that is used primarily for religious worship and schooling and that a reasonable person would conclude is a church by reason of design, signs or architectural or other features. END_STATUTE