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Oregon Law (ORS 418.017-418.018) states that:
- A parent may leave a newborn at an authorized facility in the physical custody of an agent, employee, doctor, or other medical professional working at the authorized facility if the newborn is 30 days of age or younger, as determined to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, and shows no evidence of abuse.
- A parent leaving a newborn is not required to provide any identifying information about the newborn or the parent, and may leave the facility at any time.
Under Oregon's "A Safe Place for Newborns" Law, the following are authorized safe infant surrender facilities:
- Birthing Clinics
- Doctor Offices
- Fire Departments
- Police Stations
- Sheriff Offices
If you are an employee working in an authorized safe infant surrender facility, you may receive an infant at any time, with no prior notice. The following guidelines will help you to carry out your responsibilities in regard to this law.
Preparation to receive an infant under "A Safe Place for Newborns" Law
Ensure that all staff in your facility know about the law and are trained in these guidelines.
Familiarize your staff with the "A Safe Place for Newborns" packet summarized below.
For your staff:
For the parent:
When an Infant is Brought to Your Facility for Surrender under the "A Safe Place for Newborns" Law
Immediately upon receipt of a newborn:
- Retrieve "A Safe Place for Newborns" packet.
- Do not try to identify the person (parent) surrendering the infant.
- Perform all reasonable acts to ensure the health and safety of the child including the following.
- Check infant for any visible signs of abuse.
- Estimate if the infant is 30 days old or younger.
- If the baby shows signs of abuse or appears much older than 30 days old, call the police and your local Child Welfare Office.
- If the baby seems to be a newborn and there are no signs of abuse, proceed with the following steps:
Ask if the parent would fill out a voluntary health questionnaire about the infant. The parent can take the questionnaire with them and fill it out and mail it later. (Give the parent a self-addressed stamped envelope).
- Give the parent the Letter for Parents, and
- Phone numbers for Child Welfare Offices.
Within the first 24 hours, your facility must do the following:
- As soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after receiving the newborn, notify your local Child Welfare Office that a newborn has been left at the facility.
- Record the receipt of the infant on the Drop-Off Report Form.
- Release the newborn to Child Welfare when it is appropriate considering the newborn's medical condition. Child Welfare will then assume physical custody of the newborn.
- Provide Child Welfare with all information the facility has regarding the newborn, including the Drop-Off Report Form.
Any subsequent inquiry regarding a surrendered newborn should be directed to your local Child Welfare Office.