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Breadcrumb Start you are here >Home/Abandoned Infant Protection Act

ABANDONED INFANT PROTECTION ACT

In New York State there is a new law to aid parents, guardians, or other legally responsible persons who have decided that they cannot care for their newborn infants

Under the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, parents, guardians, or other legally responsible persons who are unable to care for their newborn infants may anonymously and safely leave their infant in the care of a responsible person at a hospital, police station, fire station or a responsible person at another safe location. For more information regarding other suitable locations in your area, contact your local district attorney's office.

The Abandoned Infant Protection Act creates an affirmative defense to prosecution for Abandonment of a child under Penal Law section 260.00, where the parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person intended to abandon a child who is not more than five days old, providing that the parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person:

  • intended that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner
  • left the child with an appropriate person or in a suitable location
  • promptly notified an appropriate person of the child's location

The Abandoned Infant Protection Act adds to the affirmative defense to prosecution for Endangering the Welfare of a Child under Penal Law section 260.10 based upon the alleged desertion of a child not more than five days old, providing that the parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person:

  • intended that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner
  • left the child with an appropriate person or in a suitable location
  • promptly notified an appropriate person of the child's location

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services has developed a statewide, bilingual, comprehensive multimedia information campaign designed to create public awareness of the Abandoned Infant Protection Act.

The public awareness campaign includes:

  • Radio and television public service announcements.  The public service announcement entitled "Are You Keeping a Secret?" will be delivered to television and radio stations throughout New York State.  For radio stations with Internet download capability, MPEG versions of the public service announcement will be available at http://www.dfa.state.ny.us/safe.
  • A 24-hour, toll-free information and referral telephone hotline: 1-866-505-SAFE (7233).  The hotline is staffed around the clock, 365 days a year with trained operators who can: provide specific information about the law; refer callers to local hospitals, fire stations, police stations; refer callers to District Attorney and Social Services offices.  Operators also can connect callers with crisis counseling services if necessary.  The hotline, through an interpreter service, can communicate with callers in more than 150 languages.
  • Printed literature and posters.
  • An informational internet web page:  http://www.dfa.state.ny.us/safe.

These materials are available in English and Spanish.  Copies of the posters and brochures are available upon request by calling (518) 473-7793 or faxing the request to (518) 486-7550.