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Safe Haven Policy

            Over the past several years numerous states have enacted laws designed to address concerns over infants being dumped in dumpsters, rivers, and toilets. Colorado became included in 2000. The policy official name is "Safe Haven Law" in Colorado legislative it is Emergency possession of certain abandoned children. The policy provides that a parent will not be prosecuted for abandoning a child so long as the parent gives up the child within 72 hours of the child's birth and the parent(s) leaves the child at one of the "safe" places designated by Colorado statue. In other states it could only be used as a defense in court. The "safe" officials are: a firefighter, hospital staff that engages in admission, or care or treatment of patients without a court order who will take temporary physical custody of the child. The following must be involved: the parent of the child did not express intent to return for the child, the firefighter or hospital worker must perform any necessary care of the child. The firefighter or hospital must inform a law enforcement officer within twenty-four hours. The person the baby is delivered to is not a criminally responsible for any good faith acts. Law enforcement shall take the baby into temporary custody. Any documents performed shall be subject to the confidentiality provision section. Each county department of social services must update on a monthly basis a report of the number of children who have been abandoned pursuant to this section. Each county must submit such information to the state department of human services. The state department of human services shall submit an annual report to the general assembly, beginning January 1, 2001 that compiles the monthly reports of the number of children abandoned pursuant to this section. The county department of social services shall place an abandoned child with a potential adoptive parent as soon as possible.

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