Infant “safe surrender” law to face vote in NC Senate | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is Alex Baltzegar.

    On Thursday, the North Carolina Senate will vote on Senate Bill 20, the "Safe Surrender Infants" bill, which aims to expand the state's newborn safe surrender law. The bill, sponsored by Senator Jim Burgin, R-Lee, cleared the Rules and Operations Committee on Wednesday after being approved by the Health Care and Judiciary Committees.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (D.H.H.S.) supports S.B. 20, mainly because the N.C. Child Fatality Task Force recommended support.

    S.B. 20 would amend House Bill 275, the "Infant Homicide Prevention Act," which was signed into law in 2001. The bill would decriminalize the act of parental abandonment for a newborn not more than seven days old, as long as the infant is not a victim of neglect or abuse.

    Currently, the law prefers that the infant be placed in the temporary custody of a healthcare provider, law enforcement officer, social services worker, or emergency medical services worker.

    The main change in SB20 is that it removes the option of surrendering to any individual in an effort to help prevent human trafficking.

    Senator Burgin stated that safe surrender laws exist in all states and are designed to provide a safe alternative for desperate parents who may be tempted to engage in harmful actions to their infant.

    According to D.H.H.S., 16 infants have been surrendered in North Carolina as of 2021, including five in 2020. The law allows the parent to surrender the infant without providing their name, but SB20 would add the option for the person accepting the infant to ask for the parent's identity, date of birth, medical history, and marital status if applicable. However, the parent is not required to provide this information, and all information must remain confidential.

    The bill would offer the surrendering parent immunity from prosecution as long as safe surrender criteria are met. It would also allow the non-surrendering parent to gain custody as long as the infant has not been subjected to neglect or abuse by them.

    If a parent seeks custody, the county social services department must request a DNA test if parentage is uncertain. The surrendering parent would have the right to contact the department and request custody within 60 days of surrendering the infant, but the department must treat the request as a report of neglect and comply with state law. After 60 days, if the surrendering parent does not seek to reclaim custody, the department must initiate a termination of parental rights.

    S.B. 20 also requires local boards of education to inform high school students about how to abandon a newborn lawfully and applies to charter, home, and non-public schools. The proposed changes to the Safe Surrender law aim to provide a safe and secure alternative for parents in crisis and prevent infant abandonment and homicide.
Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )

Bill to raise judicial retirement age would allow Newby to serve full term Carolina Journal, Statewide, Editorials, Government, Op-Ed & Politics, State and Federal Uncertainty surrounding EV maker with plans to build in NC after announcing layoffs


Latest State and Federal

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told investors on Wednesday that the asset management company views climate change as a risk to portfolio companies.
North Carolina Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper gave his fourth and final State of the State address Monday night to what appeared to be, at times, a divided room between Democrats and Republicans.
Fox News regular Geraldo Rivera voiced his frustration on Tuesday with Republicans who are continuing to investigate President Joe Biden’s embattled son Hunter, telling them to “put up or shut up.”
President Joe Biden made the unlikely claim Tuesday that it is Republicans who are pushing for “defunding the police,” despite near universal GOP support for law enforcement and the fact that cutting police budgets was his own party’s rallying cry in 2020.
Eight months after an Illinois woman reported her husband missing, she found him dead in their home.
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, the assumed Republican primary frontrunner for North Carolina governor in the 2024 election, was a keynote speaker at CPAC in Maryland on Saturday.
The Republican Party establishment erupted in anger at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis after he told Tucker Carlson Ukraine is not a vital interest of the U.S. and the White House should be trying to broker peace instead of offering a “blank check.”
The N.C. Supreme Court has reinstated a lower court's order blocking a forced money transfer in the Leandro education funding case.
California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom cheered the federal government’s decision to protect Silicon Valley Bank’s depositors without mentioning that he is one of them.


The state of Ohio filed a lawsuit against rail company Norfolk Southern in federal court on Tuesday over the train derailment in East Palestine and subsequent chemical fallout.
Students at a woman-only private liberal arts college in Massachusetts supported a non-binding referendum on Tuesday that would allow women who identify as men and “non-binary” individuals to apply to the institution.
Artificial intelligence software development firm OpenAI released GPT-4, its latest AI language model, with a massive array of new capabilities.
Governor Cooper released his recommended budget for the biennium today. The General Assembly has already begun budget writing, and the Governor’s recommendations, in this case, are purely political.
A top House Republican called for the federal government to temporarily insure all bank deposits at all banks around the country.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is cautioning families about certain infant formula that has been recalled by Perrigo for potentially containing a bacteria that can lead to illness in infants.
With the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the California lender’s board of directors are facing intense scrutiny.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis slammed President Joe Biden for claiming this week that it was “close to sinful” for states to block minors’ access to medical treatments and procedures that can have devastating permanent effects on children.


Back to Top