Georgia Adoption Laws, pg 7

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Infant Safe Haven Laws

Infant's Age
Ann. Code § 19-10A-4

A newborn child who is not more than 1 week old may be relinquished.

Who May Relinquish the Infant
Ann. Code § 19-10A-4

The mother of the child may relinquish the child.

Who May Receive the Infant
Ann. Code §§ 19-10A-2; 19-10A-4

The child's mother may leave her newborn child in the physical custody of an employee, agent, or member of the staff of a medical facility who is on duty, whether there in a paid or volunteer position. The term ''medical facility'' shall mean any licensed general or specialized hospital, institutional infirmary, health center operated by a county board of health, or facility where human births occur on a regular and ongoing basis that is classified by the Department of Human Resources as a birthing center, but shall not mean physicians' or dentists' private offices.

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Ann. Code § 19-10A-6

A medical facility shall accept the child for inpatient admission and notify the Department of Human Resources at such time as the child is left and at the time the child is medically ready for discharge.

Immunity for the Provider
Ann. Code § 19-10A-7

Medical facilities and their employees, agents, and staff members shall not be liable for civil damages or subject to criminal prosecution for failure to discharge the duties provided for in this chapter. The immunity provided in this chapter shall in no way be construed as providing immunity for any acts of negligent treatment of the child taken into custody.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Ann. Code § 19-10A-4

A mother shall not be prosecuted for the crimes of cruelty to a child; contributing to the delinquency, unruliness, or deprivation of a child; or abandonment of a dependent child because of the act of leaving her newborn child in the physical custody of an employee, agent, or member of the staff of a medical facility who is on duty, whether there in a paid or volunteer position, provided that the newborn child is no more than 1 week old and the mother shows proof of her identity, if available, to the person with whom the newborn is left and provides her name and address.

Effect on Parental Rights
Ann. Code § 19-10A-6

Upon notification that the child is medically ready for discharge, the Department of Human Resources shall take physical custody of the child within 6 hours. The Department of Human Resources upon taking physical custody, shall promptly bring the child before the juvenile court to determine placement, as required by § 15-11-47.

Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (

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