Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 339 -- Safe Place for Newborns Act

Co-Sponsors:  Barry, Hanaway, Hosmer, Kennedy, Portwood

This bill establishes the Safe Place for Newborns Act of 2001
which protects newborn children from injury and death caused by
abandonment by a parent and provides alternatives to abandonment.

An affirmative defense to Sections 568.030, 568.045, or 568.050,
RSMo, is provided to parents if the child is no more than 30
days old when delivered according to the act; the child was not
abused or neglected; and, intending not to return for the child,
a parent voluntarily delivered the child safely to the physical
custody of:

(1)  A volunteer or paid employee, agent, or member of a medical
facility licensed under Chapter 197;

(2)  A volunteer or paid firefighter or emergency medical

(3)  A law enforcement officer on duty;

(4)  A member of the clergy; or

(5)  An employee of the Division of Family Services or the
Division of Youth Services.

These persons are authorized to take physical custody of a
newborn without court order if they believe the child is no more
than 30 days old and it is delivered by a person purporting to
be a parent.  If delivery of a child is made to a place other
than a medical facility licensed under Chapter 197, a person
taking custody is required to immediately transport the child to
the nearest medical facility licensed under Chapter 197.  The
implied consent of a parent to actions performed by licensed
medical facilities which are necessary to protect the physical
health and safety of the child is constituted if the child is
voluntarily delivered according to provisions of the bill.

Authorized persons listed in the bill are immune from civil,
criminal, and administrative liability for good faith discharge
of duties required by the bill.

The Division of Family Services is required to provide
information and to answer questions about the bill through the
statewide, toll-free child abuse hot-line established under
Section 210.145.  The division is also required to provide
information to the public through general public service
announcements or by other means.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated November 26, 2001 at 11:43 am