Safe Delivery Act

P.A. 232 of 2000
S.B. 1052 of 2000 – Sen. Shirley Johnson
M.C.L. 712A.19b

P.A. 233 of 2000
S.B. 1053 of 2000 – Sen. Joanne Emmons
M.C.L. 750.135

P.A. 234 of 2000
S.B. 1187 of 2000 – Sen. Bev Hammerstrom
M.C.L. 722.628

P.A. 235 of 2000
H.B. 5543 of 2000 – Rep. Patricia Birkholz
M.C.L. 710.21- 712A.32

Current Status
Governor Engler signed the four bills into law on June 26, 2000, making them Public Acts 232-235 of 2000. They took effect on January 1, 2001.

These laws allow mothers to confidentially deliver unharmed newborns up to 72 hours old to designated Emergency Service Providers, meaning an employee of a fire department, hospital or police station, without legal repercussions for child abandonment. The mother has 28 days to petition the courts to regain custody of the newborn if she should change her mind. The newborn is placed in the home of an approved pre-adoptive family. After the 28 days has passed, a public hearing will be held to terminate parental rights and then, the infant will be placed for adoption.

The increasing and disturbing trend of young mothers abandoning their newborn babies in any number of dangerous places has prompted state legislators to introduce legislation to prevent the tragic death of newborns.

These bills will give a parent immunity from child abandonment laws if they bring their baby to a safe place. S.B. 1052-53 & 1187 along with H.B. 5543 will define hospitals, police and fire stations as a “safe haven” to bring an infant to within 72 hours of birth; put procedures in place for making the child available for adoption; and publicize the overall program. RLM worked to see that provisions were added to the bills to make sure women leaving babies also are given information for contacting confidential help if they later need medical assistance or counseling.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved S.B. 1052-1053 and 1187 on May 16, 2000. Each bill had been amended to incorporate changes sought by RLM, including that the babies being brought in will go directly into the care of an adoption agency once they are ready to leave the hospital. The Senate unanimously approved the three Senate bills on May 24, 2000. On May 25, the House Family & Civil Law Committee took up H.B. 5543 and the Senate bills, also approving them unanimously. H.B. 5543 was passed unanimously by the House after minor amendments were adopted on May 30.

The three Senate bills were passed unanimously the next day, May 31. The Senate Families, Mental Health and Human Services Committee approved H.B. 5543 on June 1. Completion of the entire package is expected by June 7. Governor Engler signed the four bills into law on June 26, 2000, making them Public Acts 232-235 of 2000.

Safe Delivery Act Revision

P.A. 488 of 2006
S.B. 1292 – Sen. Shirley Johnson
Current Status
S.B. 1292 was signed by Governor Granholm on 12/28/06 with immediate effect.

This bill enhances the original Safe Delivery Act in several ways. It expands the emergency service providers to include paramedics and emergency medical technicians as safe delivery destinations. This bill also attempts to speed up the time between surrendering the baby and placing him/her into a permanent home, as well as strengthens the confidentiality of the child placement proceedings. This bill also clarifies the termination of rights of the surrendering parent to the non-surrendering parent.

The original Safe Delivery Act (or “Abandoned Baby” law), enacted in the year 2000, allows a parent to surrender their newborn babies up to 72 hours old to certain emergency service providers confidentially and without being charged with child abandonment. This law has protected at least 3 dozen babies so far. It was necessary to re-address some unforeseen situations that could or did arise; this bill amends the original law to do just that.

S.B. 1292 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Shirley Johnson on 6/7/06. It was reported out of the Senate Committee on Families and Human Services on 11/28/06 with a vote of 4-0. It was passed on the floor of the Senate on 11/30/06 with a vote of 36-0. The House Judiciary Committee reported it out on12/6/06 with a vote of 12-0. It was passed on the floor of the House on 12/13/06 after being amended, with a unanimous vote of 107-0. The Senate concurred on 12/14/06 with a vote of 36-0.