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Vermont Safe Haven Laws

In Vermont, a person may voluntarily deliver a child not older than 30 days to an employee, staff member, or volunteer at a health care facility, fire station, police station, or place of worship; an entity licensed or authorized in the state to place minors for adoption; or a 911 emergency responder at a location where the responder and the person have agreed to transfer the child.[i]  Such relinquishment shall not be considered to be an abandonment or exposure of the newborn.[ii]

The person relinquishing the child shall not be compelled to disclose his/her identity.  The person may voluntarily disclose information relating to the medical history of the child or child’s family.[iii]  However, the person accepting a newborn may compel the surrendering person to disclose his/her identity if there is a reasonable suspicion that the child has been abused.[iv]

Any person accepting a newborn shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for any action taken while performing their duties. [v]

Any person/facility to whom a newborn is delivered shall:[vi]

a)     take temporary custody of the child.

b)     ensure that the child receives necessary medical care.

c)     notify a local law enforcement agency or the Vermont state police that a child has been taken into custody.

d)     notify the Department for Children and Families that a child has been taken into custody.

Upon receiving notice, the Department shall take the child into custody as soon as practicable. [vii] The Department shall develop and implement a public information program to increase public awareness about the provisions of the Baby Safe Haven Law.[viii]

[i] 13 V.S.A § 1303(b)

[ii] 13 V.S.A § 1303(b)

[iii] 13 V.S.A § 1303(b)(2)

[iv] 13 V.S.A § 1303(b)(3)

[v] 13 V.S.A § 1303(b)(3)

[vi] 13 V.S.A § 1303(b)(3)

[vii] 13 V.S.A § 1303(b)(4)

[viii] 13 V.S.A § 1303(b)(5)

Inside Vermont Safe Haven Laws