The Hazel Park Police Department encourages you to bring unwanted newborn infants to our police station for safe keeping.
What is the program?
To end the tragedy of unwanted newborns being hidden and left to die in dumpsters and elsewhere, Michigan lawmakers have passed a law to make it legal for a parent to surrender their infant in a safe and anonymous manner.
What does this law provide?
Unharmed newborns, up to 72 hours old, can be taken to an Emergency Service Provider (ESP), meaning, a uniformed or otherwise identified employee of a fire department, hospital or police station that is inside the building and on duty. The parent has the choice to leave the infant without giving any identifying information to the ESP.
The ESP is authorized to accept the infant and provide whatever care may be necessary.
The ESP will make a reasonable effort to provide the parent with the following information:
- A written statement of the parent’s rights following surrender of the infant.
- Information about other confidential infant placement options, as well as information about the availability of confidential medical and counseling services, e.g., Public Health, Community Mental Health, Family Planning Clinics, Adoption Agencies.
What are the rights of the surrendering parent?
The surrendering parent has the right to be informed that by surrendering the newborn, the parent is releasing the new born to a child placing agency to be placed for adoption.
- The parent has 28 days to petition the court to regain custody of the newborn.
- Any information the parent provides the ESP will not be made public.
- A criminal investigation shall not be initiated solely on the basis of a newborn being surrendered to an ESP.
What happens to the baby?
After the child's medical status is assessed and any urgent medical needs are met, the newborn is placed under the temporary custody of the court in an approved preadoptive family.
- After the 28-day period for the parent to petition the court for custody elapses, there will be a public hearing to terminate parental rights.
- There will be a public notice of this hearing, and the notice will not contain the parent's name, even if known.
- The parent will not receive personal notice of this hearing, even if the parent has provided a name and address to the ESP.
- The infant will be placed for adoption as soon as parental rights have been legally terminated.
Can the parent provide background information?
Yes! Definitely, yes, The ESP will make a reasonable attempt to offer the parent the opportunity to:
- Identify herself/himself and the other parent.
- Provide information about prenatal care.
- Provide family medical history and any history of parental substance abuse.
- To sign a release of parental rights.
- Receive information about confidential medical care she may be in need of herself.
Visit the State of Michigan, Department of Human Services for more information.