|BILL AS INTRODUCED||2007-2008|
Introduced by Senator Campbell of Windsor District
Subject: Crimes; abandonment of baby; safe haven
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to clarify that, under the baby safe haven exception to the crime of abandonment, the person receiving the child is not required to reveal the name of the person who delivered the child unless there is a reasonable suspicion that the child has been abused and that the exception does not affect procedures regarding the termination of parental rights and regarding children in need of care or supervision.
AN ACT RELATING TO THE SAFE HAVEN EXCEPTION TO THE CRIME OF ABANDONMENT
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 13 V.S.A. § 1303 is amended to read:
§ 1303. ABANDONMENT OR EXPOSURE OF BABY
(a) A person who abandons or exposes a child under the age of two years whereby the life or health of such child is endangered shall be imprisoned not more than ten years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.
(b)(1) It is not a violation of this section if a person voluntarily delivers a child not more than 30 days of age to:
(A) An employee, staff member, or volunteer at a health care facility.
(B) An employee, staff member, or volunteer at a fire station, police station, place of worship, or an entity that is licensed or authorized in this state to place minors for adoption.
(C) A 911 emergency responder at a location where the responder and the person have agreed to transfer the child.
(2) A person voluntarily delivering a child under this subsection shall not be required to reveal any personally identifiable information, but may be offered the opportunity to provide information concerning the child's or family's medical history.
(3) A person or facility to whom a child is delivered pursuant to this subsection shall not be required to reveal the name of the person who delivered the child unless there is a reasonable suspicion that the child has been abused and shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for any action taken pursuant to this subsection.
(4) A person or facility to whom a child is delivered pursuant to this subsection shall:
(A) Take temporary custody of the child and ensure that he or she receives any necessary medical care.
(B) Provide notice that he, she, or it has taken temporary custody of the child to a local law enforcement agency or the Vermont state police.
(C) Provide notice that he, she, or it has taken temporary custody of the child to the department for children and families, which shall take custody of the child as soon as practicable.
(5) The department for children and families shall develop and implement a public information program to increase public awareness about the provisions of the Baby Safe Haven Law, and shall report on the elements and status of the program by January 15, 2006, to the chairs of the senate committee on health and welfare and the house committee on human services.
(6) Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, this subsection shall not be construed to limit or otherwise affect procedures under chapter 55 of Title 33 regarding termination of parental rights and regarding children in need of care or supervision.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street