Maryland Safe Haven Laws

In Maryland, any person who leaves an unharmed newborn not more than 10 days old with a responsible adult with intent not to return for the child shall be immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution.  However, if the person relinquishing the newborn is not the newborn’s mother, such person must have the approval of the mother to relinquish the newborn.[i]

The Secretary of Human Resources shall adopt regulations to implement provisions relating to safe abandonment of newborns. [ii]  The person accepting custody of the newborn shall take the newborn to a hospital or other facility designated by the Secretary of Human Resources by regulation as soon as practicably possible. [iii]  Any hospital or other designated facility accepting the newborn shall notify the local Department Of Social Services within 24 hours of accepting the newborn. [iv]

Any responsible adult, hospital or other designated facility accepting a newborn, and an employee or agent of the hospital or facility shall be immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution for all actions done in good faith related to the acceptance of or medical treatment or care of the newborn.  However, they shall not be immune from actions for injury caused to the newborn by gross negligence or willful misconduct.[v]

[i] Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 5-641(a)

[ii] Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 5-641(d)

[iii] Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 5-641(b)(1)

[iv] Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 5-641(b)(2)

[v] Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 5-641(c)


Inside Maryland Safe Haven Laws