Representative Patrice M. Arent proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Patrice M. Arent

Senate Sponsor: Scott D. Sandall


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies provisions relating to the safe relinquishment of a newborn child.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     modifies the definition of "newborn child";
13          ▸     subject to certain requirements, allows a parent or the parent's designee to safely
14     relinquish a newborn child within 30 days after the day on which the child is born;
15          ▸     clarifies the type of information that must be provided to the Division of Child and
16     Family Services upon safe relinquishment of a newborn child;
17          ▸     clarifies provisions relating to searches for a potential father of a newborn child who
18     is safely relinquished and notice that must be provided to the potential father;
19          ▸     requires the Department of Health to make rules relating to the resolution of
20     conflicting birth and foundling certificates; and
21          ▸     makes technical changes.
22     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
23          This bill appropriates in fiscal year 2021:
24          ▸     to Department of Health -- Family Health and Preparedness, as an ongoing
25     appropriation:

26               •     from General Fund, $50,000.
27     Other Special Clauses:
28          None
29     Utah Code Sections Affected:
30     AMENDS:
31          26-2-7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1995, Chapter 202
32          62A-4a-801, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 134
33          62A-4a-802, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 3 and 299

35     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
36          Section 1. Section 26-2-7 is amended to read:
37          26-2-7. Correction of errors or omissions in vital records -- Conflicting birth and
38     foundling certificates -- Rulemaking.
39          [The] In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,
40     the department may make rules:
41          (1) governing applications to correct alleged errors or omissions on any vital record[.];
42     and
43          (2) establishing procedures to resolve conflicting birth and foundling certificates.
44          Section 2. Section 62A-4a-801 is amended to read:
45          62A-4a-801. Definitions.
46          As used in this part:
47          (1) "Hospital" means a general acute hospital, as that term is defined in Section
48     26-21-2, that is:
49          (a) equipped with an emergency room;
50          (b) open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and
51          (c) employs full-time health care professionals who have emergency medical services
52     training.
53          (2) "Newborn child" means a child who is approximately [72 hours] 30 days of age or
54     younger, as determined within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
55          Section 3. Section 62A-4a-802 is amended to read:
56          62A-4a-802. Safe relinquishment of a newborn child.

57          (1) (a) A parent or a parent's designee may safely relinquish a newborn child at a
58     hospital in accordance with the provisions of this part and retain complete anonymity, so long
59     as the newborn child has not been subject to abuse or neglect.
60          (b) Safe relinquishment of a newborn child who has not otherwise been subject to
61     abuse or neglect shall not, in and of itself, constitute neglect as defined in Section 78A-6-105,
62     and the newborn child shall not be considered a neglected child, as defined in Section
63     78A-6-105, so long as the relinquishment is carried out in substantial compliance with the
64     provisions of this part.
65          (2) (a) Personnel employed by a hospital shall accept a newborn child [that] who is
66     relinquished pursuant to the provisions of this part, and may presume that the [person]
67     individual relinquishing is the newborn child's parent or the parent's designee.
68          (b) The person receiving the newborn child may request information regarding the
69     parent and newborn child's medical histories, and identifying information regarding the
70     nonrelinquishing parent of the newborn child.
71          [(c) The division shall provide hospitals with medical history forms and stamped
72     envelopes addressed to the division that a hospital may provide to a person relinquishing a
73     child pursuant to the provisions of this part.]
74          (c) If the newborn child's parent or the parent's designee provides the person receiving
75     the newborn child with any of the information described in Subsection (2)(b) or any other
76     personal items, the person shall provide the information or personal items to the division.
77          (d) Personnel employed by [a] the hospital shall:
78          (i) provide any necessary medical care to the newborn child [and];
79          (ii) notify the division of receipt of the newborn child as soon as possible, but no later
80     than 24 hours after receipt of the newborn child; and
81          [(ii)] (iii) prepare a birth certificate or foundling birth certificate if parentage is
82     unknown for the newborn child and file the certificate with the Office of Vital Records and
83     Statistics within the Department of Health.
84          (e) A hospital and personnel employed by a hospital are immune from any civil or
85     criminal liability arising from accepting a newborn child if the personnel employed by the
86     hospital substantially comply with the provisions of this part and medical treatment is
87     administered according to standard medical practice.

88          (3) The division shall assume care and custody of the newborn child immediately upon
89     notice from the hospital.
90          (4) So long as the division determines there is no abuse or neglect of the newborn
91     child, neither the newborn child nor the child's parents are subject to:
92          (a) the provisions of Part 2, Child Welfare Services;
93          (b) the investigation provisions contained in Section 62A-4a-409; or
94          (c) the provisions of Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 3, Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency
95     Proceedings.
96          (5) (a) Unless identifying information relating to the nonrelinquishing parent of the
97     newborn child has been provided, the division shall:
98          [(a)] (i) [the division shall] work with local law enforcement and the Bureau of
99     Criminal Identification within the Department of Public Safety in an effort to ensure that the
100     newborn child has not been identified as a missing child;
101          [(b)] (ii) [the division shall] immediately place or contract for placement of the
102     newborn child in a potential adoptive home and, within 10 days after [receipt of] the day on
103     which the child is received, file a petition for termination of parental rights in accordance with
104     Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 5, Termination of Parental Rights Act;
105          [(c)] (iii) [the division shall] direct the Office of Vital Records and Statistics within the
106     Department of Health to conduct a search for:
107          (A) a birth certificate for the newborn child; and [an Initiation of Proceedings to
108     Establish Paternity Registry for]
109          (B) unmarried biological fathers in the registry maintained by the Office of Vital
110     Records and Statistics [within the Department of Health] in accordance with Title 78B,
111     Chapter 15, Part 4, Registry; and
112          (iv) provide notice to each potential father identified on the registry[. Notice of
113     termination of parental rights proceedings shall be provided in the same manner as is utilized
114     for any other termination proceeding in which the identity of the child's parents is unknown;]
115     described in Subsection (5)(a)(iii) in accordance with Title 78B, Chapter 15, Part 4, Registry.
116          [(d)] (b) (i) [if no person] If no individual has affirmatively identified himself or herself
117     within two weeks after the day on which notice under Subsection (5)(a)(iv) is complete and
118     established paternity by scientific testing within as expeditious a time frame as practicable, a

119     hearing on the petition for termination of parental rights shall be scheduled[; and] and notice
120     provided in accordance with Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 5, Termination of Parental Rights.
121          [(e)] (ii) [if] If a nonrelinquishing parent is not identified, relinquishment of a newborn
122     child pursuant to the provisions of this part shall be considered grounds for termination of
123     parental rights of both the relinquishing and nonrelinquishing parents under Section
124     78A-6-507.
125          (6) If at any time prior to the adoption, a court finds it is in the best interest of the
126     newborn child, the court shall deny the petition for termination of parental rights.
127          (7) The division shall provide for, or contract with a licensed child-placing agency to
128     provide for expeditious adoption of the newborn child.
129          (8) So long as the [person] individual relinquishing a newborn child is the newborn
130     child's parent or designee, and there is no abuse or neglect, safe relinquishment of a newborn
131     child in substantial compliance with the provisions of this part is an affirmative defense to any
132     potential criminal liability for abandonment or neglect relating to that relinquishment.
133          Section 4. Appropriation.
134          The following sums of money are appropriated for the fiscal year beginning on July 1,
135     2020, and ending June 30, 2021. These are additions to amounts previously appropriated for
136     fiscal year 2021. Under the terms and conditions of Title 63J, Chapter 1, Budgetary Procedures
137     Act, the Legislature appropriates the following sums of money from the funds or accounts
138     indicated for the use and support of the government of the state of Utah.
139     ITEM 1
140          To Department of Health -- Family Health and Preparedness
141               From General Fund

142               Schedule of Programs:
143                    Maternal and Child Health               $50,000
144          The Legislature intends that the appropriations under this item be used for training and
145     education about the availability and requirements of the safe relinquishment of a newborn child
146     program described in Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 8, Safe Relinquishment of a Newborn Child.