Safe Haven, also known as Protection of Children from Abuse and Neglect, is a Nevada law that allows a parent to safely surrender their infant if they can no longer care for him/her. As long as the infant is younger than 30 days old and has not been abused, the parent may surrender him or her without arrest or prosecution.
The purpose of the Safe Haven law is to protect infants from being injured or otherwise harmed due to unsafe and illegal abandonment by providing distressed parents a safe, anonymous option for surrender of their infant.
Illegal abandonment puts the infant’s life at risk, and as a result, the parents are legally punished. Safe Haven’s goal is to prevent the infant from being harmed and for parents to have a safe and legal option to surrender their child if they cannot care for him or her.
Per Nevada law, only parents may surrender an infant at a Safe Haven location.
Staff can take immediate possession of a child who is or appears to be no more than 30 days old when:
- The child is voluntarily delivered to a Safe Haven provider by the parent.
- The parent does not express intent to return for the infant.
- When the child is delivered to the provider by another emergency agency.
- Provide emergency medical services to the newborn within the provider’s scope of practice.
- If the Safe Haven provider is not an emergency medical services facility, the provider will transport or provide transportation to the nearest hospital or other emergency medical care facility, such as nearest obstetric center or an independent center licensed under chapter 449 of NRS.
- If the parent volunteers the baby’s medical history, provide a medical history questionnaire and forward the medical history information to the emergency medical care facility where the infant will be transported.
- Note: Any information provided by the parent is voluntary and not required.
- Notify the local child welfare agency and law enforcement within 24 hours of taking possession of the infant.
- For law enforcement only: notify clearinghouse and investigate further, if necessary, to determine if the child has been reported as missing. Notify the child welfare agency of investigation conclusions.
- Whenever possible, inform the child’s parent that:
- By allowing the provider to take possession of the child, the parent is presumed to have abandoned the child.
- By failing or refusing to provide an address of contact, the parent waives any notice of the hearing to be conducted pursuant to NRS 432B.470.
- Unless the parent contacts the local welfare agency, action will be taken to terminate the parental rights regarding the child.