HB 322: "An Act relating to infants who are safely surrendered by a parent shortly after birth."

00 HOUSE BILL NO. 322 01 "An Act relating to infants who are safely surrendered by a parent shortly after birth." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 04 to read: 05 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Safe Surrender of Infants Act. 06 * Sec. 2. AS 11.81 is amended by adding a new section to read: 07 Article 4A. Prohibition on Prosecution. 08 Sec. 11.81.500. No prosecution for safe surrender of infant. A parent may 09 not be criminally prosecuted for surrendering a child of the parent in the manner 10 described in AS 47.10.013(c) if the child is less than 12 months of age. 11 * Sec. 3. AS 47.10.013 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 12 (c) A parent may not be criminally prosecuted for surrendering an infant in the 13 manner described in this subsection although surrendering the infant in the manner 14 described in this subsection constitutes abandonment for purposes of this chapter. An 15 infant's parent is considered to have abandoned the infant safely, and, notwithstanding

01 AS 25.20.030 and AS 47.10.120, the parent's legal duty to support the infant is 02 extinguished, if 03 (1) the parent, without expressing an intent to return for the infant, 04 leaves the infant in the physical custody of a person who the parent reasonably 05 believes is a peace officer, a physician or hospital employee in a hospital or hospital 06 emergency room, or a volunteer with or employee of a fire station or emergency 07 medical service who is performing activities within the scope of the volunteer's or 08 employee's fire services or emergency medical services duties; and 09 (2) there is no evidence at the time of abandonment that the infant has 10 been physically injured. 11 (d) A person to whom an infant is abandoned safely within the meaning of (c) 12 of this section shall 13 (1) act appropriately to care for the infant; 14 (2) inform the parent that the parent is not required to answer any 15 questions regarding the name or identity of the infant or the parents of the infant 16 unless the parent chooses to contact the department under (4) of this subsection; 17 (3) offer the parent a chance for counseling regarding the laws relating 18 to relinquishing parental rights with respect to a child under AS 25.23.180 and other 19 related legal and personal issues; 20 (4) ask the parent if the parent wishes to relinquish the parent's 21 parental rights and release the infant for adoption; if the answer is affirmative, the 22 person shall contact the department so that the parent can discuss that option with the 23 department. 24 (e) A hospital, hospital emergency room, fire station, emergency medical 25 service, or employees or volunteers of these entities, are not liable for civil damages 26 for failure to discharge the duties listed in (d) of this section. 27 (f) A record regarding the surrender of an infant under (c) of this section is 28 confidential and not subject to public inspection or copying under AS 40.25.100 - 29 40.25.220. 30 * Sec. 4. AS 47.10.086(a) is amended to read: 31 (a) Except as provided in (b), (c), and (g) [(b) AND (c)] of this section, the

01 department shall make timely, reasonable efforts to provide family support services to 02 the child and to the parents or guardian of the child that are designed to prevent out-of- 03 home placement of the child or to enable the safe return of the child to the family 04 home, when appropriate, if the child is in an out-of-home placement. The department's 05 duty to make reasonable efforts under this subsection includes the duty to 06 (1) identify family support services that will assist the parent or 07 guardian in remedying the conduct or conditions in the home that made the child a 08 child in need of aid; 09 (2) actively offer the parent or guardian, and refer the parent or 10 guardian to, the services identified under (1) of this subsection; the department shall 11 refer the parent or guardian to community-based family support services whenever 12 community-based services are available and desired by the parent or guardian; and 13 (3) document the department's actions that are taken under (1) and (2) 14 of this subsection. 15 * Sec. 5. AS 47.10.086 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 16 (g) The department is not required to make reasonable efforts of the type 17 described in (a) of this section if the department took emergency custody of an infant 18 under AS 47.10.142 after the infant was abandoned safely within the meaning of 19 AS 47.10.013(c). 20 * Sec. 6. AS 47.10.990 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 21 (32) "infant" means a child who is less than 12 months of age.