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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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0640.32 Abandoned Baby Procedures

640.32   ABANDONED BABY PROCEDURES

Refer:    

  • ORS 163.535 Abandonment of a Child
  • ORS 418.017  Safe Place for Newborns
  • DIR 640.30  Child Abuse Investigations
  • Safe Place for Newborns packet (FSD)

 

PROCEDURE (640.32)

Under ORS 418.017 Safe Place for Newborns, a person may leave an infant, 30 days of age or younger, with no evidence of abuse, with an agent, employee, doctor, or other medical professional at an authorized facility without facing criminal penalties. An authorized facility is any of the following:

a.  Hospital.

b.  Physician’s office.

c.  Birthing clinic.

d.  County health department.

e.  Sheriff’s office.

f.   Police station.

g.  Fire department.

The person leaving the newborn is not required to provide any identifying information about either the newborn or parent, and may leave the authorized facility at any time.

Bureau members may have to receive an infant at any time, with no prior notice. The protection and safety of the child shall be the highest priority in such situations.

Member Responsibilities (640.32)

a.  Nonsworn members:

1.  Request a sworn member respond to the location.

2.  Retrieve a Safe Place for Newborns packet (located at each precinct).

3.  Do not try to identify the person surrendering the infant.

4.  Perform all reasonable acts to ensure the health and safety of the child, including obtaining medical attention if necessary.

5.  If the person(s) chooses to leave prior to the arrival of a sworn member:

a)  Give the person(s) the Letter for Parents and DHS County Child Welfare Offices phone list, both found in the Safe Place for Newborns packet.

b)  Ask the person(s) to fill out the voluntary health questionnaire about the infant. This may be done at the authorized facility or the person may take it with them and return it in the self-addressed stamped envelope included in the packet.

b.  Sworn members:

1.  Retrieve a Safe Place for Newborns packet (located at each precinct).

2.  Do not try to identify the person surrendering the infant.

3.  Perform all reasonable acts to ensure the health and safety of the child, including but not limited to:

a)  Check the infant for any visible signs of abuse. If visible signs of abuse are present, follow the procedures outlined in DIR 640.30 Child Abuse Investigations, including detaining the person.

b)  Obtain medical attention if necessary.

c)  If the child appears to be more than 30 days old, notify the Department of Human Service (DHS) Hotline. The phone number is available in the Problem Solving Resource Guide. This situation falls under ORS 163.535 Abandonment of a Child.

d)  If the child appears to be 30 days old or less:

1)  Give the person the “Letter for Parents” and DHS County Child Welfare Offices phone list, both found in the Safe Place for Newborns packet.

2)  Ask the person to fill out the voluntary health questionnaire about the infant. This may be done at the authorized facility or the person may take it with them and return it in the self-addressed stamped envelope included in the packet.

4.  Follow-up responsibilities.

a)  Notify a supervisor and PIO office of the abandoned baby incident.

b)  Notify the DHS (Child Abuse) Hotline that a newborn has been left at the location.

c)  Complete the Drop-off Report Form included in the Safe Place for Newborns packet.

d)  Release the newborn to DHS when it is appropriate considering the child’s medical condition.

e)  Provide DHS with any pertinent information or materials regarding the child.

f)   Complete a Custody Report for protective custody of the child. Other PPB reports should be completed as appropriate for the specifics of the incident.