Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19. Children's Code § 19-3-304.5. Emergency possession of certain abandoned children--definition

(1) If a parent voluntarily delivers a child to a firefighter, as defined in section 18-3-201(1.5) , or a staff member who engages in the admission, care, or treatment of patients at a hospital or community clinic emergency center, as defined in subsection (9) of this section, when the firefighter is at a fire station or the staff member is at a hospital or community clinic emergency center, as defined in subsection (9) of this section, the firefighter or staff member of the hospital or community clinic emergency center shall, without a court order, take temporary physical custody of the child if:

(a) The child is seventy-two hours old or younger;  and

(b) The parent did not express an intent to return for the child.

(2) If a firefighter or staff member of a hospital or community clinic emergency center takes temporary physical custody of a child pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the firefighter or staff member shall:

(a) Perform any act necessary, in accordance with generally accepted standards of professional practice, to protect, preserve, or aid the physical health or safety of the child during the temporary physical custody;  and

(b) Notify a law enforcement officer and the county department of the abandonment within twenty-four hours after the abandonment.

(3) A firefighter or staff member of a hospital or community clinic emergency center shall incur no civil or criminal liability for any good faith acts or omissions performed pursuant to this section.

(4) Upon receipt of notice pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, a law enforcement officer shall take the abandoned child into temporary custody pursuant to section 19-3-401 .

(4.5) Any document prepared by a firefighter, a hospital or community clinic emergency center staff member, or a law enforcement officer pursuant to this section is a dependency and neglect record and is subject to the confidentiality provisions of section 19-1-307 .

(5) Each county department of human or social services shall maintain and update on a monthly basis a report of the number of children who have been abandoned pursuant to this section.  Each county department of human or social services shall submit such information to the state department of human services.

(6) Notwithstanding section 24-1-136(11)(a)(I) , the state department of human services shall submit an annual report to the general assembly, beginning January 1, 2001, that compiles the monthly reports, required pursuant to subsection (5) of this section, of the number of children abandoned pursuant to this section.

(7) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that a county department of human or social services shall place an abandoned child with a potential adoptive parent as soon as possible.  The general assembly further declares that, as soon as lawfully possible, a county department of human or social services shall proceed with a motion to terminate the parental rights of a parent who abandons a child.

(8) A parent who utilizes the provisions of this section shall not, for that reason alone, be found to be responsible in a confirmed report of abuse or neglect.

(9) “Community clinic emergency center” means a community clinic licensed by the department of public health and environment pursuant to section 25-3-101(2)(a)(I)(B) that:

(a) Delivers emergency services;  and

(b) Provides emergency care twenty-four hours per day and seven days a week throughout the year, except if located in a rural or frontier area that does not have the demand to support twenty-four-hour service or only operates each year during a specified time period due to seasonal population influx.


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