Safe Haven Bill Procedure

In the event a person surrenders custody of an infant (less than 30 days old) to an employee of the medical center, it is our policy to accept that infant into the hospital’s custody until custody can be transferred to law enforcement or the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Legislative Bill 157 states that no person shall be prosecuted for any crime based solely upon the act of leaving an infant in the custody of an employee on duty at the hospital. Bryan has received consent from the state for medical screening, evaluation, and treatment as needed until such time the infant is released to a state agency. Medical center employees are immune from criminal liability and civil liability for accepting an infant. Signs will be posted at emergency and main entrances indicating we are a safe haven for abandoned infants.

Steps to take

Contact care management, the nursing administrative supervisor (NAS) and hospital security, upon learning that a person intends to leave his or her child at the medical center.

Ask the person to accompany you and the infant to the emergency department.

Inform the person bringing the infant that they are not required to answer any questions; however, the following information is requested:

  1. Name of infant
  2. Names of biological parents & address
  3. Information about the child’s medical history or significant family history
  4. Is the child an American Indian? What tribe?
  5. Date of the child’s birth

The employee involved with release of the infant, care management or the NAS will take the child to the ED for evaluation and treatment needed. Care management or the NAS will notify risk management.

Please refer to the new procedure for all of the details. If you have additional questions, please call Suzan Mulligan, care management, 18996, or Norma Coleman, 18365, risk management.