Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–1451.02. Surrender.

(a) Except when there is actual or suspected child abuse or neglect, a custodial parent who is a resident of the District of Columbia may surrenders a newborn in accordance with this chapter and shall have the right to remain anonymous and to leave the place of surrender at any time and shall not be pursued by any person at the time of surrender or prosecuted for the surrender of the newborn.

(b) To surrender a newborn in accordance with this chapter, and rules promulgated pursuant to this chapter, shall not, by itself, constitute a basis for a finding of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

(c) The Authorized Receiving Facility personnel receiving the surrendered newborn shall make a reasonable effort to obtain family and medical history from the surrendering parent, including personal information such as both of the parents’ identities, and shall provide to the surrendering parent information on adoption and counseling services.

(d) The Authorized Receiving Facility personnel receiving the surrender of a newborn shall file a written statement with the CFSA, on or before the time CFSA assumes physical custody of the newborn, that includes the:

(1) Date of the surrender;

(2) Time of the surrender;

(3) Circumstances of the surrender; and

(4) Personal information obtained, if any.


(May 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-158, § 102, 57 DCR 3000.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-1451.05.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3 of Newborn Safe Haven Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-49, April 27, 2009, 56 DCR 3581).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 102 of Newborn Safe Haven Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-321, March 1, 2010, 57 DCR 1842).

Temporary Legislation

Sections 3 of D.C. Law 18-29 added a section to read as follows:

“Sec. 3. Surrendering.

“(a) Except when there is actual or suspected child abuse or neglect, a parent who surrenders a newborn shall have the right to remain anonymous and to leave the place of surrendering at any time and shall not be pursued by any person at the time of surrender or prosecuted for surrendering the newborn.

“(b) Surrendering a newborn in accordance with this act, and rules promulgated pursuant to this act, shall not, by itself, constitute a basis for a finding of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a newborn.

“(c) The Authorized Receiving Facility personnel receiving the surrendered newborn shall make a reasonable effort to obtain family and medical history from the surrendering parent, on an anonymous basis, without seeking personal information, such as the identity or address, and to provide to the surrendering parent information on adoption and counseling services.

“(d) The Authorized Receiving Facility personnel receiving the surrendered newborn shall file a written statement with the CFSA, on or before the time CFSA assumes physical custody of the newborn, that includes the date, time, and circumstances of the surrender.”

Section 10(b) of D.C. Law 18-29 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.