All 50 states have safe haven laws that allow mothers to leaveunwanted newborn (usually up to the age of 72 hours) to the care ofa safe haven provider. Such an act relieves the mother of anycriminal liability but also relieves her of her parental rights tothe child. In some states, the mother may be required to provideher name and family history (although some states will guaranteethat this information remains confidential). Note that mothers willforfeit their rights to anonymity can criminal liability if theyhave abused or otherwise neglected the child up to the time ofabandonment. Mothers also have the right to be informed by safehaven staff that by surrendering the child, they are releasing thechild for adoption and that they have the right to petition thecourt in the appropriate state (within a set period of time, suchas 28 days) to regain custody.
In most states, a child-placement agency must make “reasonableefforts” to identify and locate the non-relinquishing parent(typically, the father) by posting notice in a publication such asa newspaper in the county where the child was surrendered.
In your opinion, are fathers’ rights adequately served, bothlegally, and ethically, by safe haven laws?