January 1, 2005 Report to The Honorable Rod Blagojevich, Governor,
and The Honorable Members of the Illinois General Assembly
concerning the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act
On August 17, 2001 The Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act, 325 ILCS 2/ et seq.
was enacted. This act provides a mechanism for infants to be relinquished into a safe
haven. Illinois recognizes that newborn infants have been abandoned in various
circumstances that are unsafe. These circumstances resulted in death or severe bodily
harm to infants of Illinois. The act also provides immunity from prosecution for child
abuse, neglect or abandonment to parents as an incentive to relinquish their newborn to a
safe haven. The Department of Children and Family Services is responsible for
collecting and analyzing information regarding the relinquishment and placement of
infants under this act. The Department is further responsible to report any results to the
Illinois General Assembly. This report intends to satisfy the Department’s of Children
and Family Services obligation under the act.
B. Requirements and Procedures
On August 27, 2004, Governor Blagojevich, signed legislation expanding the number of
“safe havens” available to abandoned ne wborns. Senate Bill 2583 adds police stations to
the list of places parents and guardians can safely abandon their newborn infants. Senate
Bill 2583, sponsored by Senator Donne Trotter and Representative Beth Coulson, passed
unanimously in both chambers.
The original 2001 Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act granted parents immunity
from criminal prosecution if they safely abandoned their infants within 72 hours of birth.
However, the law only allowed hospitals, medical emergency facilities and fire stations to
accept the newborns. The new law expands the list of available sites to include police
stations used by the state’s more than 1,100 law enforcement agencies.
This act provides procedures to follow when a parent relinquishes an infant to a hospital,
manned fire station or other emergency medical facility. The act also states that a parent
may relinquish an infant anonymously and free from prosecution if the requirements of
the act are met. In addition to the requirements for hospitals, police stations, fire stations
and emergency medical facilities, there are various requirements for government agencies
to follow such as reporting requirements, placement of the infant and subsequent court
proceedings to terminate parental rights.