ADOPTEE RIGHTS LEGISLATION
All information taken from official state legislative pages unless otherwise indicated. For more information on these bills, go to the appropriate links.
For more informatiom bills from last year and those held over for 2016 go to BN 2015 legislative page.
Additions and corrections welcome!
This legislative update is reported by Lisa Zatonsky, Shea Grimm, and Marley Greiner
Hawai’i HB 2082 — Clean
The original bill was garbage with a mishmash of tiers and disclosure vetoes, and kept in place Hawaii’s current complicated and outdated confidential intermediary system.
Surprisingly, in committee, after written testimony by Adoption Circle of Hawaii asking for amendments, the bill was essentially entirely replaced with the provisions of SB. No. 2153, which gives adult adoptees access to the entire court file upon request. It also gives “natural parents” access to the original birth certificate. HB 2082 as amended passed out of committee on 2/12/16 and was referred to the Judiciary committee where it will be heard on 2/23/16 at 2:00pm HST.
- January 25, 2016: Introduced and pass first reading.
- January 27, 2016: Referred to HLT, Judiciary
- February 12, 2016: Passed HLT with amendments
- February 18, 2016: Forwarded to House Judiciary Committee (JDL)
- February 23, 2016: Pass out of House Jud2153 ( Committee 13-0-1; referred to Floor
- March 1, 2016: House Floor vote scheduled
- March 4, 2016: (Senate) Passed first reading
- March 10, 2016: (Senate) Referred to JDL
- March 23, 2016: (Senate) Public hearing scheduled, 9:00 AM; Room 016
- April 22, 2016: House has reconsidered its disagreement with the (minor) Senate amendments to HB2082, so the bill will NOT have to proceed through conference. Bill on way to 3rd reading.
- April 27, 2016: Passed thid reading; sent to governor for signature
- June 22, 2016: Signed by governor; effective immediately
NOTE: The bill(s) has been bouncing between houses regarding very minor changes. It now it has to go to joint conference committee to resolve the issue. This development does not speak to any concerns by members regarding the merits of the bill, from looking at the session as a whole, it appears nearly every bill, if not every bill, gets referred to conference if it was amended at all by the non-originating chamber, no matter how small the amendments.
Hopefully the conferences will be chosen quickly and will meet and resolve this minor issue. The final deadline for bills to be “decked” in the originating house this session is April 28, so there’s still time. Once we know the conference committee members, we’ll put out an action alert, or possibly sooner if it looks like we need some “help” getting them to assign it.
Bastard Nation Actions
- Action Alert for House Judiciary
- Submitted Testimony to House Judiciary
- Bastard Nation Action Alert: House Floor Vote
- Bastard Nation Blog: Hawai’i Clean HB 2082 records access bill passes out of committee.
- Bastard Nation Action Alert: Governor
- Bastard Nation Announcement
Hawaii SB 2153 (companion bill to HB 2028)
Allows adopted individuals who have attained 18 years of age unfettered access to the adopted individual’s,adoption records.
- January 21, 2016: Introduced, passed first reading
- January 22, 2016: Refered to Judicuary Labor Law Committee
- March 2, 2016: Hearing at 10:01 AM, Conference Room 016
- March 3: Passed Judiciary Labor Law Committee
- March 8, 2016: Passed Senate
- March 10, 2016: (House) Referred to HLT JUD
Bastard Nation Actions
Indiana SB 91 p — PASSED
Legislative session begins: Jan.5,2016
The bill uses the state registry as an intermediary, combines the wording of a CPF with a DV, and allows the biological parent(s) to refuse the release of sibling contact information even when the siblings have indicated they want contact and may not want contact with the biological parent(s). In the case of the biological parent’s death and with evidence of the death, the adoptee may apply for release of “identifying information” which will be released if the biological parent did not sign a dv that extends past the parent’s death.
- SB 91 is slated to have first read and be assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jan. 5.
- January 13th at 9:30 a.m. before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- January 13, 2016: passed out of Judiciary Committee unanimously; sent to Senate
- January 19, 2016 at 1:30 PM: second and possible 3rd reading and vote
- January 21, 2016 Third reading: passed; Roll Call 33: yeas 43, nays 5; referred to House
- February 15, 2016, 10:00 AM before House Judiciary Committee; passed, referred to House floor
- February 18, 2016: 2nd reading in House scheduled. Possible 3rd reading and vote
- February 22, 2016: 3rd reading and vote. Passes 72-24
- March 4, 2016: Signed by governor
- EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018
Note: Although the bill only shows the author as being on the committee, there are 2 past authors (Delph and Randolph) who sit on the committee. Due to past authors sitting on the committee, the bill was partly written by the Interim Study Committee, and a similar bill having passed through the same committee in 2015 with only 1 dissenting vote because that bill did not actually mention “contact preferences” and SB 91 does; the bill is expected to pass out of committee.
Submitting group: HEAR. It is not supported by Indiana Open Access.
Deadline for SB 3rd Read in Senate: Feb3
1st Day SB can be heard in House;Feb 8
Sine die: March 14
2016 is the short session. Bills only have to wait 2 calendar days before going from Committee to Floor.
Bastard Nation Actions
- Action Alert for Senate Judiciary Committee
- Submitted testimony for Senate Juduciary and full Senate
- Action Alert for House Judiciary Committee
- Action Alert for full House
Iowa HF 197 — Carry-over; No movement
HF 197 is a carry-over bill from the 2015 session. The bill is “clean” and includes a Contact Preference Form.
Legislative session begins: Jan 5, 2016
- February 9, 2015: House Judiciary Committee. No movement.
Submitting Group: Iowa Adoptee & Family Coalition
Louisiana HB 391 — Dead
The bill imposes undue restrictions upon adopted persons’ access to a copy of their own original birth certificate, through the implementation of a Confidential Intermediary and mandatory counseling system.
- Art. 1192.1. The adult adoptee (age 18 +) will be required to file a “motion of disclosure of information” form with the court where the adoption took place. The adoptee will not be required to show “need of information”.
- Art. 1192.2 (A)The court shall appoint a confidential intermediary. The CI will be required to be one of the following: licensed clinical social worker, a social worker working for an adoption agency, a licensed professional counselor, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed psychiatrist.
- Art. 1192.2 (B) Before releasing any information, both the adoptee and first parent are required to take part in a minimum 1 hour counseling session. The session must take place no earlier than 6 months prior to the adult adoptee filing a motion of disclosure with the court. Allows the CI to count these actions as part of their “services”.
- Art. 1192.2 (C) Lists the penalties assigned if a CI acts in an unethical manner.
- Art. 1192.3. Lists the CI’s duties.
- Art. 1192.3. (B) Requires the first parent give their written permission before their information may be released.
- Art. 1192.3. (C)Requires the CI to report their findings and all paperwork to the court within 30 days or file an extension granting more time.
- Art. 1192.3. (D) States that the CI be paid for their time and that all fees are to be paid by the “mover”.
- Art. 1192.4. Is a disclosure veto. If the first parent gives written permission then the obc and any “identifying information” found within the adoption file may be released. If the first parent cannot be found or does not give written permission then the court will deny the release of the obc and “identifying information”.
- March 3, 2016: Prefiled
- March 3, 2016: Provisionally referred to Committee on Civil Law and Procedure
- March 4, 2015: Interim Calendar
- March 14, 2016: Read; referred to Committee on Civil Law and Procedure
- April 18,2016: Defeated in Committee
Opposing State Group: Louisiana Adoptee Rights Campaign (Facebook)
Bastard Nation Actions
- Action Alert for Committee on Civil Law and Procedure, April 11, 2-16
BILL NUMBERS CHANGED: Carry-over bills from the 2015 session – Clean
Legislative session begins: January 2, 2016.
- The bill currently sits in the Joint Committee on Public Health
- March 14, 2016: House Reporting date extended to Thursday June 30, 2016, pending concurrence
- March 16, 2016: Senate concurred
- April 7, 2016: Bill reported favorably out of committee. . ME for MA reports they do not not have details yet on next steps, but it will likely be assigned a new bill number. No new information posted on MA Legislature page.
- May 18, 2016: New drafts passed out of committee
- May 18, 2016: H4307 passed out of committee; referred to House Steering, Policy, and Scheduling
- May 26, 2016: Read second and ordered to a third reading.
Submitting Group: OBC for MA
Bastard Nation Actions
- Action Alert for Joint Committee Hearing
- Testimony to Joint Committee
- Action Alert forJoint Committee Vote (repost of OBC for MA action alert)
- Action Alert to House and Senate
- Action Alert to House and Senate: Update–Change in bill numbers.
Minnesota HF 2247/SF 2132 — Deform
The bill has a disclosure veto and a contact preference form.
Legislative session begins: March 8, 2016
- 4/20/2015 HF 2247 introduced and first reading, referred to Civil Law and Data Practices.
- 4/28/2015 SF 2132 introduced and first reading, referred to Health, Human Services and Housing.
Submitting Group: Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform
Missouri HB 1599 — Deform
Sponsor: Rep. Don Phillips
The bill is a re-file version of the 2015 bill. On the surface, the bill appears clean.The current law’s access is found under Section 193.0135 and is access through a court order.
Legislative session begins: Jan. 5, 2016
- Actions: Bill has long action history. We are listing important actions here. Go here for complete history.)
December 2, 2016: – Prefiled (H)
- January 14, 2016: Referred to Children and Families Committee.
- February 2, 2015; Noon, Room 1. Hearing scheduled
- February 9, 2016: Noon, Room 1, Hearing scheduled; possible vote
- February 9, 2016 Passed out of committee; referred to Select Committee on Social Services
- February 18, 2o16: Voted Do Not pass; combined with HB 1822 to create compromised bill
- May 11, 2016: Passed Senate
- May 11, 2016: Passed House
NOTE: Passed the House , referred to committee in the Senate. Senate had a hearing on 4/5. Now awaiting committee vote or further action. It passed second read in the senate before being referred to committee
Submitting group: Missouri Adoption Reform Movement (AAC aligned)
Bastard Nation Actions
- Action Alert: House Committee on Children and Families
- Submitted Testimony t0 Committee on Children and Families
- Action Alert: House
Missouri HB 1822 — Deform
Sponsor: Joe Don Mcgaugh
SUMMARY: HB 1822 (McGaugh) is a re-introduction of HB 1112 (2015 session).
This bill changes the law regarding the release of certain adoption records. If the state registrar releases a copy of an original birth certificate upon presentation of a court order entered in accordance with the provisions of the bill, the state registrar must issue an uncertified copy of the unaltered original birth certificate. The copy of the birth certificate must have the following statement printed on it: “For informational purposes only – not to be used for establishing identity.” If the court discloses identifying information under the provisions of the bill, the court must also order release of copies of the following records of the adoption to the adopted adult or the adopted adult’s lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased:
(1) The original birth certificate;
(2) The consent to termination of parental rights;
(3) Any waiver of consent to future adoption of the child;
(4) The adoption decree; and
(5) The petition for temporary custody and adoption.
When identifying information is withheld under the provisions of the bill due to a lack of consent or a failure to locate a biological parent, the court must order redaction of any withheld identifying information contained in the above listed documents. Only those documents in the possession of the court or other state agencies must be subject to release under these provisions.
- December 14, 2015: prefiled
- January 6, 2016: First reading
- January 7, 2016: Second reading
- January 28, 2016: Referred to House Children and Familis Committee
- February 9, 2016: Public hearing
- February 16, 2016: Passed in Executive Session’ Referred to Select Committee
- February 18, 2016: Combined with HB 1599 to create compromised bill.
Missouri utilizes a “proving” committee phase, where a bill must pass through a subcommittee. Any related bills that pass through the subcommittee may be merged in the oversight committee. The bill that passes the oversight committee is known as a “true bill” and is presented to the floor and voted upon. The oversight committees are known as “Select” committees because they select which bills proceed to the floor and how.
IF HB 1822 is allowed to pass out of the lower committee and proceeds to the Select Standing Committee on Social Services, then it may be merged with the existing CLEAN HB 1599 which is awaiting Hearing in the SAME committee. Bills eligible to be merged do NOT have to cite the same affected statute. The competing bills only must address the same issue. The consequences of the two bills merging could be the CLEAN HB 1599 would deform and could include a disclosure veto, redaction provision, or both.
- February 14, 2015: Prefiled
- January 6, 2016, first reading
- January 7, 2016: second reading
- January 28, 2016: Referred to House Committee on Children and Families
- February 9, 2016: 1st hearing
- February 16, 2016: Executive Session, passed out of committee
- February 17, 2016: Referred to House Select Committee
Bastard Nation Actions COMBINED on HB1599 and HB 1822
- Action Alert: House Committee on Children and Families, January 31, 2016
- Bastard Nation Action Alert Missouri: Stop attempt to kill adoptee rights in MO. Oppose HB 1822. Support HB 1599, February 15, 2016
- Submitted Testimony t0 Committee on Children and Families, February 16, 2016
- Blog: What Would Orwell Do? Who’s Confused in Missouri (HB1599/HB1622) , February 16, 2016
- Bastard Nation Action Alert: Missouri 1599 amended and deformed. Oppose today!, February 22, 2016
- Bastard Nation announces partnership with Missouri Open, March 22,201
- Breaking News from Missouri! Senate Committee Substitute for HB 1599 ALERT! The shaft continues. April 14, 2016
- Missouri Update and Action Alert! Stop the war against adoptees. Veto HB 1599, May 11 .2016
This bill Allows adoption records to be released after 100 years from the date of the adoption
- January 7, 2016: Introduced and first reading
- January 11, 2016: Second reading
NEW YORK S5964/A2901A — Deform
S5964 and its companion bill A2901A are 2015 session amendments to an originally clean access bill submitted by New York Statewide Adoption Reform’s Unsealed Initiative (NYSARUI) and supported by New York State Adoption Equality (NYSAE). The Assembly’s bill, A2901A, passed on June 18,2015. The Senate version, S5964, currently sits in the Senate Rules Committee.
Mandates (original–see amendment at bottonm of NYS for current mandates):
- Section 2 of the bill mandates that no one may release the adoptee’s biological surname without a court order.
- Section 5 of the bill mandates the adoptee before having access to their original birth certificate must have written permission from the court and/or the biological parent(s).
- Section 5 (B) requires the use of a confidential intermediary (CI) to locate the biological parent and obtain written permission.
- Section 5 (E) (I) states if a biological parent can not be found or does not respond to the confidential intermediary, the release of the original birth certificate will be at the sole discretion of the presiding judge who shall consider whether such release would be detrimental to the birthparents and adoptive parents.
- Section 5 (E) (II) mandates that if a biological parent does not give their consent under Section 5 (E) (I), a redacted original birth certificate will be issued.
- Section 5 (H) requires the biological parent(s) to submit changes in a written and notarized notification.
- Section 10 directs for the establishment of the adoption information registry.
Legislative Session begins: Year round session allowing bill carry-over. Post-holiday session begins January 4th.
- June 14, 2015 Referred to Rules.
- January 6, 2016: Returned to Assembly; ordered 3rd reading
- February 24, 2016: amended on 3rd reading 2901b
- May 25, 2016: amended on 3rd reading 2901c
IMPORTANT: New amendments to 2901
- Redacted birth certificates
- Court order releases
- First parent searches
- Biological and adoptive parent permission
Both New York sponsoring organizations have issued statements in opposition to the amended bill. We join them and urge you to write the New York Assembly members and request a “NO” vote. ACTION alert wi be issued soon.
Legislative session ends: June 16, 2016
Submitting Group: NYSARUI
Supporting Group (Original) : NYSAE
Note: The submitting group has blocked the BN Leg Comm from posting legislative calendar clarifications & updates along with Action Alerts. BN members who have attempted to do so have had their posts deleted. Grounds for the block given was that the companion bills are a NY matter applying to those who live in NY. Please, be aware that information found on the submitting group’s facebook page is not always the most up-to-date nor in agreement with the state legislative web pages.
The supporting group does tend to post accurate bill updates in a timely manner.
Both groups are AAC aligned.
Bastard Nation Actions
- Action Alert
- Actin Alert
Pennsylvania HB 162 — Deform
- Section 2 (3)(a) requires the adult adoptee requesting a copy of their original birth certificate (OBC) to be 18 and have had graduated high school, received a GED, or “legally withdrawn” from secondary schooling.
- Section 2 (3)(a) contains a Contact Preference Form provision.
- Section 2 (3) (c) allows the birth parent to redact their name from the non-certified original birth certificate before it is released to the adult adoptee.
- Section 2 (3) (c) (2) mandates that the option to file a redaction demand expires six months after the effective date of the legislation, however any redaction demands filed during that period remain in full force or effect unless later withdrawn.
- Section 2 (3) (c)(4) A birth parent may withdraw their redaction demand at any time, however there is no provision to notify an adult adoptee that they have done so.
- Section 2 (c) (7) allows an adoptee who has been the subject of a redaction of their OBC to every five years request that the Department of Health search for and contact the birth parent who filed the redaction demand and request that they remove it, as well as provide an updated medical history form. If it is determined that the birth parent is deceased, the adoptee will be entitled to an unredacted copy of their original birth certificate.
Note: This is a rollover bill. Originally, it started out as a clean bill with a CPF. On June 25th, the Children and Youth Committee amended and passed the bill. On December 16th, the House passed the amended bill. Per Rules, the bill may go to the Senate floor for a vote or may go to Committee. At this time, the bill has not been assigned.
Legislative session begins: Jan. 6, 2016
- Bill rolled over from 2015 session where the amended version had passed the House.
- September 28, 2016: Bad amended version passed unanimously out of Senate Public Welfare Health Committee. Referred to Senate Appropriations. (See Bastard Nation Action Alert, October 4,2016 below for details on new restrictions.)
- October 17, 2016: Re-referred to APPROPRIATIONS, Oct. 17, 2016
- October 24, 2016: Third consideration and final passage (47-0) (Senate)
- October 25 2016: Referred to RULES
- October, 25 2016: Re-reported concurrence, as committed
- October 25, 2016: House concurred in Senate amendments.
Submitting Group: Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights
Bastard Nation Actions
This bill seems to have slipped by everyone. We have not seen it discussed anywhere until news of it showed up in the news on February 9. The bill basically let’s adoptees receive the name of their birthparent if the birthparent is deceassed. Maybe. It was introduced at the end of 2015 legislative session and was signed into law on February 4. 2016. Below is a rundown.
Bill History: allows the release of a birth parent’s identifying information when that birth parent is known to be deceased and it does not breach the confidentiality of another legally identified birth parent. The bill also removes the requirement for an eligible requester to obtain a letter from a physician in order to request updated medical and genetic information. The bill additionally allows an adult adoptee to file an affidavit that would give the Adoption Search Program the ability to release his or her identifying information to their birth parent upon the parent’s request so long as it does not breach the confidentiality of another legally identified birth parent. Finally, the bill allows a parent or guardian of a minor offspring of a deceased adoptee to request medical and genetic information
2016 Proposed Access Bills waiting for Sponsorship
Closes the current non-access gap. Access would become effective July 1, 2016
Legislative session begins: February 5, 2016
February 19, 2016: Access Connecticut reports that the Public Health Committee was unwilling to introduce their bill this year. (In “short” sessions like 2016 only Committees, and not individual legislators, can introduce bills.) They will have to wait to the next legislative session which begins in January, 2017. In the meantime, they continue to meet with legislators in the coming weeks while the legislature is in session to lay the groundwork for next year.
2016 SAFE HAVEN LEGISLATION
(cross posted with Baby Box bills)
Amends the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act. Requires the Department of Children and Family Services to conduct a review of the impact and effectiveness of the policy objectives established under the Act for the years 2001 through 2016 and to submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by July 1, 2017. Provides that the report shall contain certain information, including: (i) the number of newborn infants abandoned during the review period; (ii) the number of newborn infants relinquished in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Act during the review period; (iii) a determination of whether a need exists to expand the list of facilities and personnel who are authorized to accept a relinquished newborn infant; and (iv) an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of implementing and installing newborn safety incubators. Effective July 1, 2016.
February 19, 2016: Filed,first reading, referred to Senate Assignments Committee
Expands the state safe haven laws to include churches.
AN ACT relating to abandoned infants.
Amend KRS 405.075 and 216B.190 to add staffed churches to the list of permitted safe havens at which an abandoned infant can be dropped off; prohibit criminal or civil liability for any actions taken by safe havens; and amend KRS 620.355 to delete reference to a repealed statute.”
There have been a recorded 38 infants dropped off at the current SHs since 2002. Current law is 3 days or younger at a hospital ER, police station, or manned fire station. Catholic Church, the Baptist denominations (1st and Southern) support.
Legislative Session: Jan 5-April 12
- Prefiled bill
- January 5, 2016: Introduced in House, referred to Health and Welfare Committee
Current law verbiage clean-up.
Legislative Session: Full year. Jan. 3
Actions: This is a carry-over bill.
House Committee on 3rd Read.
Requires Safe Havens to have state provided signage.
- 2/4/2015 House Introduced and read first time (House Journal-page 38)
- 2/4/2015 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary
(House Journal-page 38)
2/25/2015 House Committee report: Favorable Judiciary
(House Journal-page 2)
3/3/2015 House Read second time (House Journal-page 27)
3/3/2015 House Roll call Yeas-107 Nays-0 (House Journal-page 27)
3/4/2015 House Read third time and sent to Senate
(House Journal-page 12)
3/4/2015 Senate Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 10)
3/4/2015 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary
(Senate Journal-page 10)
2016 BABY BOX LEGISLATION
Baby Boxes are Safe Havens on steroids.
Not satisfied with anonymous abandonment through Safe Haven programs, new groups have emerged separate from the Safe Haven Movement to help “deseperate mothers” who fear being seen dropping off newborns at Safe Haven sites such as hospitals or fire departments, by giving them a new/old “choice” of a baby box where they can dump their newborns without the intrusion and inconvenience of having to do a face-to-face turnover required by Safe Haven laws. Such boxes, (also known as Baby Wheels and Baby Flaps) were used extensively from the Middle Ages through the late 19th century in Europe and were done away with as systemized public and private child welfare sytems developed. They have lately made a comeback in Europe and are popular in Asia and Africa A handful exist in Arizona and Californa but are seldom if ever used. To take the sting out of Baby Box history, Baby Boxers have renamed them “infant safety incubators.”
So far two Baby Box groups have emerged:
Safe Haven Baby Boxes based in Indiana, is headed by Indiana EMT and anti-abortion activist Monica Kelsey. She is supported by the Knights of Columbus and local and national anti-abortionites. Kelsey’s goal is to install. with or without implementng legislation, baby drop boxes first in Indiana and then throughtout the country. An evangelical Christian, she sees baby boxes as an alterntive to abortion seemingly convinced that “desperate women” will carry secret pregnances to term, deliver alone, and walk away from a baby hole-in-the wall knowing they have ‘saved a life.” Altough Indiana, basically on a technicality, has rejectd Kelsey’s baby box legislation (seen below for details) she is going ahead with her plan and will soon begin installing baby boxes, which do not need legislative or other state approval to operate, in her state.
The second group is the Hope Box, based bear Atlanta. Hope Box acting as if newborns are abandoned by the scores in Atlanta, plans to open a 24/7 staffed medical facility where it will collect newborns through its dropbox scheme (and probably other ways) and then pass them on to its affiliated adoption agency. Hope Box and its adoption agency are affiliated with the cult church Interntional House of Prayer (IHOP). Hope Box is also partnering with evangelical anti-trafficking ministeries in metro Atlanta to scoop up babies.
Established Safe Haven organizations such as Save Abandoned Babies Foundation (Illinois), AMT Children of Hope (New York) and even Baby Safe Haven New England (the Morriseys) are actively opposing this legislation. US AdoptionLand. however, has been asleep at the wheel and appears ignorant of the danger these groups pose to families, adoptee rights and adoption reform. We hope to change that soon. Bastard Nation opposes and is extensively backgrounding and researching Baby Boxers. We will be be posting information and exposes about the movement over the next few weeks and months and ways in which you can help stop them.
In the meantime, we are keeping track of legislation.
(cross posted with Safe Haven bills)
Amends the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act. Requires the Department of Children and Family Services to conduct a review of the impact and effectiveness of the policy objectives established under the Act for the years 2001 through 2016 and to submit a report of its findings andrecommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by July 1, 2017. Provides that the report shall contain certain information, including: (i) the number of newborn infants abandoned during the review period; (ii) the number of newborn infants relinquished in accordance with the proceduresoutlined in the Act during the review period; (iii) a determination of whether a need exists to expand the list of facilities and personnel who are authorized to accept a relinquished newborn infant; and (iv) an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of implementing and installing newborn safety incubators. Effective July 1, 2016.
February 19, 2016: Filed,first reading, referred to Senate Assignments Comomittee
HB 1224: Newborn Safety Incubators
“Allows, beginning January 1, 2016, a qualified service provider as defined in the bill to install and operate a newborn safety incubator for the purpose of taking custody of a newborn who is voluntarily left in the device. A newborn safety incubator is a device that allows a person to anonymously place a newborn in the device with the intent to leave the newborn and another person to remove the newborn from the device and take custody of the newborn. A qualified service provider that installs a newborn safety incubator must register with the Department of Health and Senior Services. Any person who places an item or individual, other than a newborn less than 31 days of age, into the newborn safety incubator is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Any person who intentionally installs or operates a newborn safety incubator in violation of these provisions is guilty of a class A misdemeanor, unless the violation results in bodily injury to a newborn in which case the violation is a class D felony until December 31, 2016, and a class E felony beginning January 1, 2017.
- 03/11/2015 Introduced in House – 1st reading
- 03/12/2015 2nd reading
- 05/05/2015 Referred to House Children and Family Committee
- Action: No action taken; hearings scheduled
- Status: Held over for 2016 sessioN
Status of 2015 Baby Box Legislation
For more details this bill go to 2015 BN legislative page
HB 1016 Newborn Safety Incubators–“Baby Boxes”
Description: “Requires the commission on improving the status of children in Indiana to submit, before January 1, 2016, to the general assembly and the governor’s office recommendations concerning: (1) new methods or mechanisms for carrying out policies relating to abandoned children; and (2) the production and distribution of information and posting of uniform signs regarding certain laws regarding emergency custody of abandoned children. Requires the state department of health to prepare and submit, before January 1, 2016, to the general assembly and the governor’s office recommendations concerning standards and protocols for the installation and operation of newborn safety incubators. Requires the state department of health to consider certain factors in preparing the recommendations.”
STATUS: 11/18/2015 Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children refused to support baby boxes; enactment of bill which was unanoulsy supported by the Indiana Legislature, was contingent on its support, Monica Kelsey, leader of Safe Haven Baby Boxes says this setback won’t stop their installation and has 5 sites lined up. She plans to open the first one her hometown of Woodburn, where her husband was just eleted major, in Januaryr. Another box is slated for Richmond. handily located on the Indiana-Ohio line.
- Video: Commission on Improving the Status of Children hearing, November 18, 2015 (starts at 2.10)
- Press Release: Safe Haven Boxes for Babies, November 19, 2015
- Monica Kelsey’s explanation of why she will install boxes despite rejection by Commission. (bottom video)
- Hoosier women abandoned as infants push for baby boxes, Anderson Herald Bulletin, April 25, 2016
Possible Baby Box Legislation 2016 Session
Reportedly bills will be introduced in Georgia, and possibly Massachusetts and Ohio this year.
Reporter: Marley Greiner
Originally published January 1, 2016
Update: October 25, 2026