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Idaho Safe Haven Law

The Idaho Safe Haven Act, passed in 2001, and offers a safe option for parents who might otherwise abandon their baby.

A custodial parent may leave a child at a safe haven without being subjected to prosecution for abandonment, provided that the child is no more than 30 days old when he or she was left at the safe haven, as determined within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

A safe haven shall take temporary physical custody of a child, without court order, if the child is personally delivered to a safe haven, provided that the following are true:

  • The child is no more than 30 days old.

  • The custodial parent delivers the child to the safe haven.

  • The custodial parent does not express an intent to return for the child.


A Safe Haven Is Defined Under The Act As:

  • Hospitals licensed in Idaho.

  • Advanced practice professional nurses, including certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners and certified registered nurse anesthetists licensed or registered as listed in chapter 14, title 54, Idaho Code.

  • Physician assistants licensed as listed in chapter 18, title 54, Idaho Code.

  • Medical personnel acting or serving in the capacity as a licensed provider, affiliated with an Idaho EMS agency, including first responders and all levels of emergency medical technicians.

  • A fire station operated by a city, a county, a tribal entity, a fire protection district, or a volunteer fire department if there are personnel on duty.

The safe haven provider shall not inquire as to the identity of the custodial parent and, if the identity of a parent is known to the safe haven provider, the provider shall keep all information as to the parent's identity confidential. The custodial parent leaving the child shall not be required to provide any information to the safe haven provider, but may voluntarily provide information including, but not limited to, medical history of the parent(s) or the child.

The safe haven would provide any urgent health and safety needs for the baby and then notify a peace officer. The peace officer would take protective custody of the baby and then deliver the baby to the Department of Health and Welfare. The baby would be placed with a foster family approved for adoption, and Child and Family Services workers would begin the process of finalizing a permanent home for the baby.

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