children's feet

2-pound twin infants surrendered under Daniel’s Law

Recently, some new parents safely surrendered a set of twins to a hospital in South Carolina under Daniel’s Law. This law, otherwise known as the Safe Haven for Abandoned Babies Act, allows parents to safely give up their children so long as they are less than 60 days old and unharmed. There are designated places where they can go to do this. The act is designed to protect the well-being of the children, such as these twin babies.

Advertisement

2-Pound Baby Twins Surrendered to South Carolina Hospital Under Daniel’s Law

Born on July 11, parents of baby twins surrendered the babies to AnMed Health Medical Center in Anderson, South Carolina on September 8th. This makes the babies just shy of two months, or 60 days, old. Each baby weighed just over two pounds despite their age. From there, the Anderson County Department of Social Services took custody of the babies and placed them in a licensed foster home. They now have an upcoming permanency planning hearing in October. According to the DSS, they are the sixth and seventh babies to be surrendered under Daniel’s Law this year. (1

Advertisement

What Is Daniel’s Law?

Daniel’s Law is a law in South Carolina that allows parents to surrender their children to designated locations with specifically attached requirements. It is called Daniel’s Law after a baby boy who survived being buried in a landfill soon after he was born. The nurses who took care of him named him Daniel. The law is designed to prevent parents from leaving children they don’t feel they can take care of in dangerous situations out of fear of prosecution for abandoning their child. (2)

Read: The millionaire tech inventor who was ‘thrown away’ as a baby

Advertisement

What Are The Details Of The Law?

As already mentioned, there are rules about the law that must be followed, both on the side of the parents giving up the child and the institution receiving the child. The baby (or, in this case, babies) cannot be older than 60 days. Also, in order for no legal action to be taken against the parents or guardian, they must be unharmed. The person surrendering the child also must either be the parent of that child or a person acting under the direction of the child’s parent.

There are also specifications as to where a parent can legally leave the child without facing prosecution. They can leave the child at a hospital or other emergency medical care facility, a law enforcement agency, a fire station, or a house of worship during the hours that it is staffed. Parents also cannot simply drop their baby on the front step – they must leave the child in the hands of an employee there. (3)

The safe havens are then responsible for what happens next. These previously mentioned places are required by law to accept temporary custody of the abandoned child, provided it meets the already mentioned requirements. The people surrendering the child must also not express any intent to come back for them. If the location isn’t already a hospital, then they must either take the child to a hospital or call 9-1-1. They must do this within six hours of receiving the child.

Read: A Kindergarten Boy Invited His Entire Class to His Adoption and My Heart Is Full

Advertisement

Important Questions

Though they cannot or do not have to force information out of anyone, the more information that they have on the child, the better. The employees of the safe haven should request the names of the child’s parents, medical history of each parent, and important medical information regarding the mother, such as substance abuse, the child’s background, and the child’s medical history. There are forms for these employees to fill out, as well as information that they must provide to the person surrendering the child.

Advertisement

The staff at safe havens cannot legally reject a child if they fit within the regulations, nor can they harass or prosecute the person leaving the child. The only place they can take a child is to the hospital, and they are not to keep the child for more than six hours. As already mentioned, they cannot force the person leaving the child to give up any information that they do not wish to share. Failure to follow any of the procedures or rules outlined by the law will result in legal action.

Daniel’s law is specific to South Carolina. There may be similar laws in place in other states to protect other children who are also in precarious and potentially dangerous situations. If you are unsure about the state where you live, you will have to research the laws in your state to determine the regulations.

Keep Reading: The Kids Who Need the Most Love Ask for it in the Most Unloving Ways

Advertisement

Sources

  1. 2-pound twin infants surrendered under Daniel’s Law.” KWTX. Anisa Snipes and Debra Worley. September 12, 2022.
  2. SC infant boy surrendered to deputies under Daniel’s Law.” WMBF News. Patrick Phillips. April 15, 2021.
  3. Daniel’s Law: Information for Safe Havens.” South Carolina Bar
Advertisement