New Hampshire Safe Haven Laws

In New Hampshire, a hospital or Safe Haven shall take temporary care and control of a child not older than seven days without a court order if the child is delivered to the hospital/Safe Haven by its parent with intent not to return for the child.[i] According to RSA 132-A:1(III), “Safe haven” means a church which is attended by a person, or a police or fire station which is attended by a person, or a 911 responder at an agreed transfer location.

After accepting custody, the hospital/Safe Haven shall ensure that medical services necessary to protect the health and safety of the child are made available to the child.[ii] Parent/Parents relinquishing their child may not be required to disclose any information regarding their identity. [iii]

The hospital or Safe Haven assuming temporary care and custody of an abandoned child shall notify the Department of Health and Human Services and law enforcement officials within 24 hours of accepting custody that the hospital/Safe Haven has assumed temporary care and control of a child. [iv]Upon receiving notice, the Department shall assume temporary care and control of the child.  It shall also be responsible for all necessary medical and other costs incurred by the hospital/Safe Haven.  The Department shall reimburse the hospital or Safe Haven for any necessary costs incurred in relation to the child.  Within 24 hours of receiving notification, the Department shall request law enforcement officials to investigate if the child is a missing child. [v]

Any person or entity shall not be liable for any claim at law or in equity as a result of action taken pursuant to the requirements of the Act.[vi] The commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of the Act.[vii]

[i] RSA 132-A:2(I)

[ii] RSA 132-A:2(II)

[iii] RSA 132-A:2(I)

[iv] RSA 132-A:3

[v] RSA 132-A:3

[vi] RSA 132-A:4

[vii] RSA 132-A:5


Inside New Hampshire Safe Haven Laws