BILL REQ. #: S-1887.1
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2009 Regular Session|
READ FIRST TIME 02/25/09.
AN ACT Relating to adding additional appropriate locations for the transfer of newborn children; amending RCW 13.34.360; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1 RCW 13.34.360 and 2002 c 331 s 2 are each amended to read
(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Appropriate location" means (i) the emergency department of a hospital licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW during the hours the hospital is in operation; ((
or)) (ii) a fire station during its hours of
operation and while fire personnel are present; or (iii) any medical
clinic during its hours of operation.
(b) "Medical clinic" means a federally designated rural health clinic or a federally qualified health center.
(b))) (c) "Newborn" means a live human being who is less than
seventy-two hours old.
(c))) (d) "Qualified person" means (i) any person that the parent
transferring the newborn reasonably believes is a bona fide employee,
volunteer, or medical staff member of the hospital or medical clinic
and who represents to the parent transferring the newborn that he or
she can and will summon appropriate resources to meet the newborn's
immediate needs; or (ii) a firefighter, volunteer, or emergency medical
technician at a fire station who represents to the parent transferring
the newborn that he or she can and will summon appropriate resources to
meet the newborn's immediate needs.
(2) A parent of a newborn who transfers the newborn to a qualified person at an appropriate location is not subject to criminal liability under RCW 9A.42.060, 9A.42.070, 9A.42.080, 26.20.030, or 26.20.035.
(3)(a) The qualified person at an appropriate location shall not require the parent transferring the newborn to provide any identifying information in order to transfer the newborn.
(b) The qualified person at an appropriate location shall attempt to protect the anonymity of the parent who transfers the newborn, while providing an opportunity for the parent to anonymously give the qualified person such information as the parent knows about the family medical history of the parents and the newborn. The qualified person at an appropriate location shall provide referral information about adoption options, counseling, appropriate medical and emotional aftercare services, domestic violence, and legal rights to the parent seeking to transfer the newborn.
(c) If a parent of a newborn transfers the newborn to a qualified person at an appropriate location pursuant to this section, the qualified person shall cause child protective services to be notified within twenty-four hours after receipt of such a newborn. Child protective services shall assume custody of the newborn within twenty-four hours after receipt of notification.
(d) A medical clinic is not required to provide ongoing medical care of a transferred newborn beyond that already required by law and may transfer the newborn to a hospital licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW. The medical clinic shall notify child protective services of the transfer of the newborn to the hospital.
(e) A hospital, medical clinic, or fire station, its employees, volunteers, and medical staff are immune from any criminal or civil liability for accepting or receiving a newborn under this section.
(4)(a) An appropriate location shall have a sign, visible to the public outside the location, that contains a clearly discernable message that a person may transfer a newborn to the location under RCW 13.34.360.
(b) The information contained on the sign shall be restricted to that set forth in (a) of this subsection and may contain information about how to obtain further information on the provisions of this section.
(c) An appropriate location shall have the sign posted not later than July 1, 2011, or at the time it becomes an appropriate location, whichever is later.
(d) An appropriate location is authorized to accept nonpublic funds and donations to acquire and place its sign.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2 The department of social and health services
shall collect and compile information concerning the number and medical
condition of newborns transferred under RCW 13.34.360 after the
effective date of this act and the number and medical condition of
newborns abandoned within the state who were not transferred under RCW
13.34.360 after the effective date of this act. The department shall
report its findings to the legislature annually, beginning on January