Bill S2950D-2009

Relates to abandoned infants and endangering the welfare of a child; repealer

Relates to abandoned infants and endangering the welfare of a child.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 23, 2010: SUBSTITUTED BY A11111
  • Jun 23, 2010: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1127
  • Jun 23, 2010: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • May 18, 2010: PRINT NUMBER 2950D
  • May 18, 2010: AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • Feb 2, 2010: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO CODES
  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • Nov 9, 2009: PRINT NUMBER 2950C
  • Nov 9, 2009: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • Oct 26, 2009: PRINT NUMBER 2950B
  • Oct 26, 2009: AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • Jun 2, 2009: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO CODES
  • May 13, 2009: PRINT NUMBER 2950A
  • May 13, 2009: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • Mar 6, 2009: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Rules - Jun 23, 2010
Ayes (21): Smith, Espada, Stachowski, Montgomery, Duane, Hassell-Thompson, Krueger, Parker, Serrano, Stewart-Cousins, Dilan, Klein, Valesky, Johnson O, Padavan, Volker, Farley, LaValle, Seward, Larkin, Saland
Ayes W/R (1): Skelos
Absent (1): Hannon

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S2950D

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the penal law, in relation to abandoned infants; and to repeal section 260.03 of the penal law relating thereto

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : To better implement the Abandoned Infant Protection Act of 2000 by allowing individuals to abandon infants up to thirty days old and by providing that individuals who abandon their infants as prescribed by law will not be held criminally liable.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Section one amends section 260.00 of the penal law to provide that a person is not guilty of the crime of abandonment of a child when he or she deserts such child with intent to wholly abandon the child where the parent abandons the child with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner, the parent leaves the child with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and promptly notifies an appropriate person of the child's location, and the child is not more than thirty days old.

Section two amends section 260.10 of the penal law, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 476 of the laws of 1990 and subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 920 of the laws of 1982, to provide that a person is not guilty of the crime of endangering the welfare of a child when he or she deserts such child with intent to wholly abandon the child where the parent abandons the child with the intent (i) to wholly abandon the child by relinquishing responsibility for and rights to the care and custody of the child, and (ii) that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner, the parent leaves the child with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and promptly notifies an appropriate person of the child's location, and the child is not more than thirty days old.

Section three amends section 260.15 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 156 of the laws of 2000, to eliminate the affirmative defense provided in subdivision 2 in a prosecution for endangering the welfare of a child where the defendant leaves a child with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and with an appropriate person or in a suitable location since this bill would eliminate the crime of endangering the welfare of a child on the basis of abandonment under the circumstances set forth in this section.

Section four provides for the repeal of section 250.03 of the penal law.

Section five provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION : Currently, all fifty states have laws, often termed Safe Haven or Baby Moses legislation, to protect infants who are safely abandoned. In. 2000, New York enacted the Abandoned Infant Protection Act (the Act) in order to allow a person to safely abandon an infant not more than five days old with an appropriate person or in a suitable location without the fear of criminal prosecution. Enacted to prevent infanticides throughout the state, the Act amended the social services law to require the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to develop and implement a public information program to inform the general public of the new law, and amended the penal law to provide an affirmative defense to criminal prosecution for both the felony crime of abandonment of a child and the misdemeanor crime of endangering the welfare of a child where a person leaves an infant not more than five days old with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and promptly notifies an appropriate person of the child's location and does so with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner.

This legislation seeks to amend the Act in two important ways. First, the bill eliminates criminal liability where a person leaves an infant with an intent to wholly abandon the child by relinquishing responsibility for and rights to the care and custody of the child, with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner, and leaves the infant with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and promptly notifies an appropriate person of the child's location, and the child is not more than thirty days old.

Second, the bill provides for the safe and anonymous abandonment of an infant thirty days or younger. By increasing the age of an infant who is abandoned from five days or younger to thirty days or younger, this legislation provides a parent more time to consider whether to abandon his or her child and also to come forward to establish parental rights should he or she have second thoughts after abandoning the child.

There have been one hundred eighteen babies who have been safely abandoned pursuant to the Act and one hundred twelve adoptions of those babies since the-law passed in 2000. ("Parents in Crisis Have many options for Giving Babies Haven Officials Say" by Tina Kelley, March 5, 2008, The New York Times.) The Act was enacted to save the lives of unwanted, newborn infants. This legislation furthers the intent of the Act and facilitates its implementation by giving parents more time to make their decision and not subjecting them to criminal prosecution should they choose to abandon their child and do so safely and as otherwise prescribed by law.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : Same as S.2950-C, Committed to Codes. Similar to A.10528/S.7983, 2008 Referred to Judiciary.

FISCAL IMPLICATION : None.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2950--D 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 6, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, BRESLIN, DILAN, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, ONORATO, SAMPSON, SAVINO, THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- reported favorably from said committee and committed to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Children and Families in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- reported favorably from said committee and committed to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to abandoned infants; and to repeal section 260.03 of the penal law relating thereto THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 260.00 of the penal law is amended to read as follows: S 260.00 Abandonment of a child. 1. A person is guilty of abandonment of a child when, being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than fourteen years old, he OR SHE deserts such child in any place with intent to wholly abandon [it] SUCH CHILD. 2. A PERSON IS NOT GUILTY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION WHEN HE OR SHE ENGAGES IN THE CONDUCT DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION: (A) WITH THE INTENT THAT THE CHILD BE SAFE FROM PHYSICAL INJURY AND CARED FOR IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER; (B) THE CHILD IS LEFT WITH AN APPRO- PRIATE PERSON, OR IN A SUITABLE LOCATION AND THE PERSON WHO LEAVES THE CHILD PROMPTLY NOTIFIES AN APPROPRIATE PERSON OF THE CHILD'S LOCATION; AND (C) THE CHILD IS NOT MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS OLD.
Abandonment of a child is a class E felony. S 2. Section 260.10 of the penal law, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 476 of the laws of 1990 and subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 920 of the laws of 1982, is amended to read as follows: S 260.10 Endangering the welfare of a child. A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child when: 1. He OR SHE knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than seventeen years old or directs or authorizes such child to engage in an occupation involving a substantial risk of danger to his OR HER life or health; or 2. Being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than eighteen years old, he OR SHE fails or refuses to exercise reasonable diligence in the control of such child to prevent him OR HER from becoming an "abused child," a "neglected child," a "juvenile delinquent" or a "person in need of supervision," as those terms are defined in articles ten, three and seven of the family court act. 3. A PERSON IS NOT GUILTY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION WHEN HE OR SHE ENGAGES IN THE CONDUCT DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 260.00 OF THIS ARTICLE: (A) WITH THE INTENT TO WHOLLY ABANDON THE CHILD BY RELINQUISHING RESPONSIBILITY FOR AND RIGHT TO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF SUCH CHILD; (B) WITH THE INTENT THAT THE CHILD BE SAFE FROM PHYSICAL INJURY AND CARED FOR IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER; (C) THE CHILD IS LEFT WITH AN APPROPRIATE PERSON, OR IN A SUITABLE LOCATION AND THE PERSON WHO LEAVES THE CHILD PROMPTLY NOTIFIES AN APPROPRIATE PERSON OF THE CHILD'S LOCATION; AND (D) THE CHILD IS NOT MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS OLD. Endangering the welfare of a child is a class A misdemeanor. S 3. Section 260.15 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 156 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows: S 260.15 Endangering the welfare of a child; defense. In any prosecution for endangering the welfare of a child, pursuant to section 260.10[: 1.] OF THIS ARTICLE, based upon an alleged failure or refusal to provide proper medical care or treatment to an ill child, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant (a) is a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of such child; and (b) is a member or adherent of an organized church or religious group the tenets of which prescribe prayer as the principal treatment for illness; and (c) treated or caused such ill child to be treated in accordance with such tenets[; or 2. based upon an alleged desertion of a child not more than five days old, it is an affirmative defense that, with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner, the defendant left the child with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and promptly notified an appropriate person of the child's location]. S 4. Section 260.03 of the penal law is REPEALED. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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