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8-528 Newborn infants left with safe haven providers

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A. The placement of newborn infants who are left with safe haven providers pursuant to section 13-3623.01 shall follow the protocols prescribed in this section.

B. If a newborn infant is left with a private child welfare agency that is licensed pursuant to this article or with a private adoption agency that is licensed pursuant to section 8-126 and the agency has the ability and desire to take custody of the infant and to place the infant for adoption, the safe haven provider shall do the following:

1. Immediately transport the newborn infant or arrange for the newborn infant to be transported to a hospital for a physical examination.

2. Immediately call the department to inform it that a newborn infant has been left with the safe haven provider, of the location of the hospital where the agency transported the infant or arranged for the infant to be transported and that the agency will take custody of the infant after the hospital completes the physical examination.

3. Take custody of the infant from the hospital within twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination.

C. If the private child welfare agency or private adoption agency does not have the ability or desire to take custody of the infant and place the infant for adoption, the agency shall do the following:

1. Immediately transport the newborn infant or arrange for the newborn infant to be transported to a hospital for a physical examination.

2. Immediately call the department to inform it that a newborn infant has been left with the safe haven provider, of the location of the hospital where the agency transported the infant or arranged for the infant to be transported and that the agency will not take custody of the infant after the hospital completes the physical examination.

D. If a newborn infant is left with a church, the safe haven provider must do the following:

1. Immediately transport the infant or arrange for the newborn infant to be transported to a hospital for a physical examination.

2. If the church is affiliated with a private adoption agency, contact the private adoption agency and inform the agency that a newborn infant has been left with the safe haven provider.

3. Immediately call the department to inform it that an infant has been left at the church, of the location of the hospital where the church transported the infant or arranged for the infant to be transported and whether a private adoption agency will take custody of the infant.

E. If the agency contacted pursuant to subsection D of this section has the ability and desire to take custody of the infant and place the infant for adoption, the agency must take custody of the infant within twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination.

F. If the church is not affiliated with a private adoption agency or the private adoption agency does not have the ability or desire to take custody of the infant and place the infant for adoption, the department shall contact the next private adoption agency on a rotating list of agencies maintained by the department until it contacts an agency that agrees to take custody of the infant. The adoption agency must take custody of the infant from the hospital within twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination.

G. If a newborn infant is left with a firefighter who is on duty, an emergency medical technician who is on duty or a staff member at a health care institution that is classified by the department of health services pursuant to section 36-405 as a general hospital or a rural general hospital, the safe haven provider shall do the following:

1. Immediately transport the newborn infant to a hospital for a physical examination.

2. Immediately contact the department of child safety to inform it that a newborn infant has been left at a fire station or health care institution and of the location of the hospital where the safe haven provider transported the infant.

H. Within eight hours after the department is contacted pursuant to subsection C or G of this section, the department shall contact the next private adoption agency on a rotating list maintained by the department until the department contacts an agency that agrees to take custody of the infant. The adoption agency must take custody of the infant from the hospital within twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination.

I. If an agency does not take custody of the newborn infant within twenty-four hours after the hospital completes the physical examination, the hospital shall contact the department, and the department shall contact the next private adoption agency on its rotating list until an agency agrees to take custody of the infant.

J. If no agency takes custody of the infant pursuant to this section within forty-eight hours after the hospital completes the physical examination, the department shall take custody of the infant.

K. Notwithstanding any other law, before a private adoption agency or the department takes custody of an infant pursuant to this section, a health care provider, as defined in section 36-3201, may make health care treatment decisions for the infant. A health care provider who makes a good faith medical decision pursuant to this subsection is immune from liability.

L. The safe haven provider that takes custody of the infant shall act as the responsible adult and complete the Arizona health care cost containment system application process on behalf of the infant. If the child is determined ineligible for the Arizona health care cost containment system or if the Arizona health care cost containment system administration does not reimburse the hospital for the medical examination and treatment provided to the infant, the entity or individual that ultimately takes custody of the infant must compensate the hospital for the medical examination and treatment provided to the infant.

M. An agency that takes custody of the newborn infant must comply with all state and federal laws regarding adoption and placement of children.

N. The department shall inform an agency when it has rotated to the top of the contact list and inform it that the department will notify it the next time a newborn infant is left with a safe haven provider.

O. A private adoption agency may contact the department to be placed on the rotating list maintained by the department pursuant to this section if it:

1. Is a nonprofit agency.

2. Does not specialize in international adoptions.

3. Has a twenty-four hour emergency contact number.

P. The protocols prescribed in this section apply only to an infant who is seventy-two hours of age or younger and who is not abused. If an infant who is transported to a hospital is older than seventy-two hours or has been abused, the hospital shall contact the department, and the department shall take custody of the infant.

Q. For the purposes of this section:

1. “Church” has the same meaning prescribed in section 13-3623.01, subsection H, paragraph 2, subdivision (d), item (iii).

2. “Custody” means legal authority to act on behalf of a child including the following:

(a) The duty and authority to make decisions that affect the child, including medical decisions.

(b) The authority to file a petition for termination of parental rights.

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