Daniel’s Law

Daniel’s Law

Most South Carolinians look to the Fire Service as a beacon of hope and a place of safety, security, and trust in some of the most difficult times in their lives.  As members of the South Carolina Fire Service, we wanted to provide you with information related to Safe Havens for Babies, or Daniel’s Law as it is better known.

Mothers in crisis have a safe way to surrender their babies under Daniel’s Law which is named for an infant boy who survived being buried in a landfill soon after his birth.  Daniel’s Law was enacted to prevent these kinds of dangerous and often fatal abandonments from occurring within our State.  Under the law, a baby up to sixty days old can be surrendered at a designated location providing a safe option for the mother and child that is not intended to hurt or punish anyone.

General information you should know:

The law applies to infants up to 60 days old.

If the baby has been harmed in some way, the immunity from prosecution may not apply.

A person who abandons a newborn cannot be prosecuted for abandonment if he or she takes the unharmed baby to staff or an employee of a Safe Haven. Safe Havens are defined as a hospital or hospital outpatient facility, law enforcement agencies, fire stations, emergency medical services (EMS) stations, or a house of worship during the time the church or synagogue is staffed. The receiving “safe haven” should complete this form.

DSS will have legal custody of the child and will place the child in a foster home.

DSS will immediately pursue family court action to free the child for adoption.

The hospital will provide medical care and contact DSS.

The person leaving the child will be asked to provide medical information about the baby’s parents and, if possible, the name of the baby’s parents. This will help the medical personnel treat the baby for any health problems.

The person leaving the child does not have to reveal his or her identity.

 

The South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association in conjunction with the South Carolina State Association of Fire Chiefs have teamed up to provide this information to our members and encourage you to view the following video.

 

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