SB 0066 Protects a parent from liability for relinquishing custody of a newborn to a hospital
LR Number:0520S.05P Fiscal Note:0520-05
Committee:Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action:05/08/01 - HCS Voted Do Pass H Children, Families & Health Journal page:
Title:SCS#2 SB 66
Effective Date:August 28, 2001
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Current Bill Summary

SCS#2/SB 66 - This act creates the "Safe Place for Newborns Act of 2001". A new Section 210.950 is created to protect parents from liability for leaving a newborn child if:

The child is left in the custody of a hospital staff member or volunteer;

The child is no more than 5 days old; and

The child has not been physically abused by the parent.

The hospital must perform any necessary treatment to protect the child's health or safety and a parent's voluntary delivery of the child to the hospital is implied consent to medical treatment. The hospital must notify the Division of Family Services (DFS) when the child is ready for discharge. Within one business day of notification, DFS must take custody of the child. DFS must provide information about this process on its toll-free number or through brochures and pamphlets.

Currently, Section 568.030, RSMo, creates the crime of abandonment of a child in the first degree. Section 568.045, RSMo, currently creates the crime of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree. Section 568.050, RSMo, creates the crime of endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree. New language to all three of the above sections allows an affirmative defense if the defendant voluntarily delivered the child to a medical facility.

This act is substantially similar to HB 2134 (2000).