CHAPTER 49. CHILD WELFARE.
WVC 49 - 6 E-
ARTICLE 6E. EMERGENCY POSSESSION OF CERTAIN ABANDONED CHILDREN.
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§49-6E-1. Accepting possession of certain abandoned children.
A hospital or health care facility operating in this state,
shall, without a court order, take possession of a child if the
child is voluntarily delivered to the hospital or health care
facility by the child's parent within thirty days of the child's
birth and the parent did not express an intent to return for the
child. A hospital or health care facility that takes possession of
a child under this section shall perform any act necessary to
protect the physical health or safety of the child. In accepting
possession of the child, the hospital or health care facility may
not require the person to identify themselves, but shall otherwise
respect the person's desire to remain anonymous.
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§49-6E-2. Notification of possession of abandoned child.
(a) Not later than the close of the first business day after
the date on which a hospital or health care facility takes
possession of a child under section one of this article, the
hospital or health care facility shall notify the child protective
services division of the department of health and human resources
that it has taken possession of the child and shall provide to the
department of health and human resources division of child
protective services any information provided by the parent
delivering the child. The hospital or health care facility shall
refer any inquiries about the child to the department of health and
human resources protective services division.
(b) The department of health and human resources shall assume
the care, control and custody of the child as of the time of
delivery of the child to the hospital or health care facility, and
may contract with private child care agency for the care and
placement of the child after the child leaves the hospital or
health care facility.
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§49-6E-3. Filing petition after accepting possession of abandoned
A child of whom the department of health and human resources
assumes care, control and custody under the provisions of this
article shall be deemed an abandoned child and be treated in all
respects as a child taken into custody under the provisions of
section nine, article six of this chapter. Upon taking custody of
a child under the provisions of this article, the department with
the cooperation of the county prosecuting attorney shall cause a
petition to be presented pursuant to the provisions of section
three, article six of this chapter. Thereafter, the department
shall proceed in compliance with the provisions of article six of
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§49-6E-4. Affirmative defense for certain prosecutions.
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under subsection
(a), section four, article eight-d, chapter sixty-one of this code
if a parent charged under that section delivered the child, for
whom the parent is charged, within thirty days of the child's
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§49-6E-5. Placement of child for adoption.
The child shall be eligible for adoption as an abandoned child
under article four, chapter forty-eight of the code.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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