Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 864
       By Senator Baxley
       12-00583-20                                            2020864__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to surrendered newborn infants;
    3         amending s. 383.50, F.S.; revising the definition of
    4         the term “newborn infant”; defining the term “newborn
    5         safety device”; authorizing hospitals, emergency
    6         medical services stations, and fire stations to use
    7         newborn safety devices to accept surrendered newborn
    8         infants under certain circumstances; requiring such
    9         hospital, emergency medical services station, or fire
   10         station to visually check and test the device within
   11         specified timeframes; conforming provisions to changes
   12         made by the act; providing additional locations under
   13         which the prohibition on the initiation of criminal
   14         investigations based solely on the surrendering of a
   15         newborn infant applies; amending s. 63.0423, F.S.;
   16         conforming a cross-reference; providing an effective
   17         date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1.  Present subsections (2) through (10) of section
   22  383.50, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (3)
   23  through (11), respectively, a new subsection (2) is added to
   24  that section, and present subsections (1), (3), (5), and (10) of
   25  that section are amended, to read:
   26         383.50 Treatment of surrendered newborn infant.—
   27         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   28         (a) “Newborn infant” means a child who a licensed physician
   29  reasonably believes is approximately 30 7 days old or younger at
   30  the time the child is left at a hospital, an emergency medical
   31  services station, or a fire station.
   32         (b)“Newborn safety device” means a fixture installed in an
   33  exterior wall of a building which has an exterior point of
   34  access that locks and automatically triggers an alarm inside the
   35  building upon placement of a newborn infant inside and which has
   36  an interior point of access that allows individuals inside the
   37  building to safely retrieve the newborn infant.
   38         (2)(a)A hospital, an emergency medical services station,
   39  or a fire station that is staffed 24 hours per day may use a
   40  newborn safety device to accept surrendered newborn infants
   41  under this section if the device is:
   42         1.Physically located inside the hospital, emergency
   43  medical services station, or fire station;
   44         2.Located in an area that is conspicuous and visible to
   45  the employees of the hospital, emergency medical services
   46  station, or fire station; and
   47         3.Equipped with a dual alarm system connected to the
   48  physical location of the device.
   49         (b)A hospital, an emergency medical services station, or a
   50  fire station that uses a newborn safety device to accept
   51  surrendered newborn infants must visually check the device at
   52  least twice a day and must test the device at least once a week
   53  to ensure the alarm system is in working order.
   54         (4)(3) Each emergency medical services station or fire
   55  station staffed with full-time firefighters, emergency medical
   56  technicians, or paramedics 24 hours per day shall accept any
   57  newborn infant left with a firefighter, an emergency medical
   58  technician, or a paramedic, or in a newborn safety device that
   59  is physically part of the emergency medical services station or
   60  fire station. The firefighter, emergency medical technician, or
   61  paramedic shall consider these actions as implied consent to and
   62  shall:
   63         (a) Provide emergency medical services to the newborn
   64  infant to the extent he or she is trained to provide those
   65  services, and
   66         (b) Arrange for the immediate transportation of the newborn
   67  infant to the nearest hospital having emergency services.
   69  A licensee as defined in s. 401.23, a fire department, or an
   70  employee or agent of a licensee or fire department may treat and
   71  transport a newborn infant pursuant to this section. If a
   72  newborn infant is placed in the physical custody of an employee
   73  or agent of a licensee or fire department, or in a newborn
   74  safety device that is physically part of an emergency medical
   75  services station or a fire station, such placement shall be
   76  considered implied consent for treatment and transport. A
   77  licensee, a fire department, or an employee or agent of a
   78  licensee or fire department is immune from criminal or civil
   79  liability for acting in good faith pursuant to this section.
   80  Nothing in this subsection limits liability for negligence.
   81         (6)(5) Except when there is actual or suspected child abuse
   82  or neglect, any parent who leaves a newborn infant in a newborn
   83  safety device or with a firefighter, an emergency medical
   84  technician, or a paramedic at a fire station or emergency
   85  medical services station, leaves a newborn infant in a newborn
   86  safety device at a hospital, or brings a newborn infant to an
   87  emergency room of a hospital and expresses an intent to leave
   88  the newborn infant and not return, has the absolute right to
   89  remain anonymous and to leave at any time and may not be pursued
   90  or followed unless the parent seeks to reclaim the newborn
   91  infant. When an infant is born in a hospital and the mother
   92  expresses intent to leave the infant and not return, upon the
   93  mother’s request, the hospital or registrar shall complete the
   94  infant’s birth certificate without naming the mother thereon.
   95         (11)(10) A criminal investigation shall not be initiated
   96  solely because a newborn infant is left at a hospital, an
   97  emergency medical services station, or a fire station under this
   98  section unless there is actual or suspected child abuse or
   99  neglect.
  100         Section 2. Subsection (4) of section 63.0423, Florida
  101  Statutes, is amended to read:
  102         63.0423 Procedures with respect to surrendered infants.—
  103         (4) The parent who surrenders the infant in accordance with
  104  s. 383.50 is presumed to have consented to termination of
  105  parental rights, and express consent is not required. Except
  106  when there is actual or suspected child abuse or neglect, the
  107  licensed child-placing agency shall not attempt to pursue,
  108  search for, or notify that parent as provided in s. 63.088 and
  109  chapter 49. For purposes of s. 383.50 and this section, an
  110  infant who tests positive for illegal drugs, narcotic
  111  prescription drugs, alcohol, or other substances, but shows no
  112  other signs of child abuse or neglect, shall be placed in the
  113  custody of a licensed child-placing agency. Such a placement
  114  does not eliminate the reporting requirement under s. 383.50(8)
  115  s. 383.50(7). When the department is contacted regarding an
  116  infant properly surrendered under this section and s. 383.50,
  117  the department shall provide instruction to contact a licensed
  118  child-placing agency and may not take custody of the infant
  119  unless reasonable efforts to contact a licensed child-placing
  120  agency to accept the infant have not been successful.
  121         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.