State reminds people of safe haven law

State reminds people of safe haven law
Safe Haven laws in Mississippi. Photo Credit WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The state of Mississippi is stepping up its effort to remind people of a very important law. The safe haven law allows mothers to "leave their baby, up to 3 days old, with an employee at any emergency medical provider, hospital emergency room or a licensed adoption agency".

The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services works to ensure that these children are taken care of after leaving their safe haven location.

"MDCPS should be notified by the close of the first business day after the date on which the child was surrendered and should assume care, control and custody of the child immediately upon receipt of notice," said Lea Anne Brandon, CPS director of communications. "MDCPS will be responsible for all medical and other costs associated with the child and will reimburse the hospital for costs associated with caring for the child."

The following is a list of responsibilities of The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services after the child is placed in their custody.

  • Making contact with the child in the hospital
  • Naming the child before leaving the hospital
  • Coordinating with hospital staff to apply for the child's birth certificate and Social Security card
  • Contacting the Youth Court judge to request court order for custody
  • Contacting the Resource Supervisor to identify a legal risk adoptive placement
  • Assisting the Resource Unit with placement if needed
  • Submitting required information to Eligibility and obtaining a Medicaid number
  • Scheduling and attending the adjudicatory hearing
  • Providing Medicaid number to the hospital for the Safe Baby
  • Obtaining medical records
  • Completing the Termination of Parental Rights packet and submitting to the Regional Director
  • Following all relevant agency policy related to the custody and placement of a child”