Bill S5144-2013

Relates to preliminary procedures, petitions and special provisions regarding abandoned infants

Relates to procedures, petitions and special provisions regarding abandoned infants; defines abandoned infant; sets forth preliminary procedures; and provides for sustaining or dismissing a petition alleging a child is an abandoned infant.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • Jan 8, 2014: returned to senate
  • Jan 8, 2014: died in assembly
  • Jun 18, 2013: referred to judiciary
  • Jun 18, 2013: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 18, 2013: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 18, 2013: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1449
  • Jun 18, 2013: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • May 10, 2013: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Votes

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5144

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act and the social services law, in relation to abandoned infants

PURPOSE:

To better implement the Abandoned Infant Protection Act of 2000 by clarifying certain provisions of the family court act and social services law in order to protect abandoned newborn infants.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one amends section 1012 of the family court act by amending paragraph (ii) of subdivision (f) and subdivision (j) and adding a new subdivision (1). Paragraph (ii) of subdivision (f) clarifies that the term "neglected child" does not include an abandoned infant as defined subdivision (1) of section 1012 of the family court act. Subdivision (j) amends the definition of "aggravated circumstances" to include where a court has determined a child thirty days or younger was abandoned by a parent with an intent to wholly abandon such child and with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner. New subdivision (1) defines "abandoned infant."

Section two amends article ten of the family court act by adding a new section 1031-a which outlines the preliminary procedures to be taken when a child who appears to be an abandoned infant is found. The commissioner of the local social services department shall immediately take protective custody of the infant. The local commissioner of social services (local commissioner) shall commence a court proceeding at once to determine whether the child is an abandoned infant. The information to be included in the petition is provided. Upon receiving the petition, the court shall appoint an attorney for the child to represent the alleged abandoned infant. If the parents of the infant are unknown, the court shall upon receipt of the petition, hold a hearing to determine whether the child appears to have been abandoned in accordance with the definition of abandoned infant provided in subdivision (1) of section 1012 of the family court act. If at the hearing the court determines that the circumstances of the abandonment meet the definition of abandoned infant in said subdivision (1), the court shall order that the local commissioner shall not be required to commence a diligent search to locate the parents or other relatives of the child and shall require the local commissioner to cause notice of the proceeding to be published in the county in which the infant was found at least once in each of three successive weeks. Service by publication is complete on the twenty-first day after the day of first publication. The information the notice shall contain is provided. In addition, the court, in determining whether removal or continuing the removal of the child is necessary to avoid imminent risk to the child's life or health, shall consider and determine it its order whether continuation in the child's home would be contrary to the best interests of the child and, where appropriate, whether reasonable efforts were made prior to the date of the hearing to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home and, if the child was removed from his home prior to the date of the hearing, where appropriate, that reasonable efforts were made to make it

possible for the child to safely return home. If the court determines that reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home were not made but that the lack of such efforts was appropriate under the circumstances, the court order shall include such finding. In the event that a person claiming to be the parent of the infant comes forward, the local commissioner of social services shall immediately provide written notification to both the court and the assigned attorney for the child and cause a test to be conducted to confirm maternity or paternity. If maternity or paternity is confirmed, the local commissioner shall notify the court, which shall order an investigation pursuant to section 1034(1) of the family court act The existing order of custody of the child to the local commissioner shall continue pending the result of the investigation. If there are grounds pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f) of section 1012 of the family court act to file a petition to determine abuse or neglect pursuant to section 1031 of the family court act, the local commissioner shall file such petition within three court days of the completion of the investigation. The parent or parents shall be informed of the date and the time that the petition shall be filed, the address of the court where the petition shall be filed, the right of the parent to be present at any hearing held and the right to be represented by counsel. Upon such filing, a hearing pursuant to section 1027 of the family court act shall be held forthwith. If no such grounds exist, the court shall dismiss the petition to determine whether the infant is an abandoned infant and order that the child be returned to his or her parent or parents.

Section three amends subdivision (a) of section 1039-b of the family court act, as added by chapter 7 of the laws of 1999, regarding the filing by the social services official of a motion requesting a finding that reasonable efforts to return an abandoned infant to his or her home are no longer required.

Section four amends subdivision (a) of section 1041 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 1015 of the laws of 1972, by providing that when a child is alleged to be an abandoned infant, a parent or person legally responsible for such child does not have to appear in court nor shall it be necessary to serve such person with a copy of the petition, but the provisions of section 1031-a(d)(1)(3) shall apply.

Section five amends section 1044 of the family court act to provide that the definition of "fact-finding hearing" includes a hearing to determine whether a child is an abandoned infant as defined in the family court act.

Section six amends the family court act by adding a new section 1051-a to provide that in a fact-finding hearing, the court shall determine that the child is an abandoned infant if facts sufficient to constitute clear and convincing evidence are established to find that the child was thirty days old or younger when abandoned and that the child was left in a manner that indicated the parent's intent to wholly abandon such child by relinquishing and foregoing responsibility for and rights to the care and custody of such child with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner. Sufficient evidence of the child's age and date of birth and intent to wholly abandon the child are: an

affidavit or other official record of determination of a qualified health care practitioner who examined the child that such child was thirty days old or younger when abandoned and the date of birth of the child to a reasonable degree of certainty; an affidavit or official record, including a police report or testimony regarding the manner of abandonment of the child; and an affidavit or official record of the result of inquiries made to the putative father registry and to local law enforcement officials regarding a missing person report. If the court sustains the petition and finds that the child is an abandoned infant, the court shall make a finding and issue a court order that includes certain information as outlined in the bill. Should the facts be insufficient to sustain the petition, the court shall convert the petition to a proceeding to determine abuse or neglect pursuant to section 1031 of the family court act and shall state on the record the grounds for conversion. The court shall determine whether temporary custody of the child to the local commissioner of social services shall continue until further order of the court. In determining whether removal or continuing the removal of the child is necessary to avoid imminent risk to the child's life or health, the court shall consider and determine in its order whether continuation in the child's home would be contrary to the best interests of the child and, where appropriate, whether reasonable efforts were made prior to the date of the hearing to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home and, if the child was removed from his home prior to the date of the hearing, where appropriate, that reasonable efforts were made to make it possible for the child to safely return home. If the court determines that reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home were not made but that the lack of such efforts was appropriate under the circumstances, the court order shall include such finding.

The court shall commence a dispositional hearing immediately after the fact-finding hearing when the petition has been sustained and enter an order of disposition that includes certain information as outlined in the bill, including placing the child in the custody of the local commissioner, who shall make reasonable efforts to place the child into a pre-adoptive home. The local commissioner shall be required to commence a proceeding to commit the guardianship and custody of the infant to an authorized agency within sixty days and if the initial permanency hearing has not been held, to set a date certain for an initial permanency hearing.

Section seven amends paragraph (i) of subdivision (a) of section 1055 of the family court act, as amended by section 12 of part G of chapter 58 of the laws of 2010, by adding that when custody is being determined for an abandoned infant, the court may place the child in the custody of certain named persons or a duly authorized association, agency, society or institution suitable for the placement of a child.

Section eight amends paragraph (ii) of subdivision (b) of section 1055 of the family court act, as amended by section 18 of part A of chapter 3 of the laws of 2005, by providing that a diligent search of the child's parents is not necessary if it has been determined that such child is an abandoned infant.

Section nine amends subparagraph (i) of paragraph 1 of subdivision (b) of section 1089 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 437 of

the laws of 2006, by providing that the requirement to serve notice on the parents of a child does not apply when such child has been alleged or found to be an abandoned infant and the identity of the parent or parents is unknown.

Section ten amends subdivision (b) of section 1089 of the family court act by adding new paragraphs 3 and 4. New paragraph 3 provides that where a child who is not free for adoption has been alleged or found to be an abandoned infant and the identity of such infant's parents is not known, the local commissioner of social services shall cause notice of the permanently hearing for an abandoned infant to be published in the county in which such child was found. The notice shall contain certain information as provided in the bill. New paragraph 4 provides that if, within six months after the initial publication of notice of a proceeding to determine whether a child is an abandoned infant, a person claiming to be the mother or father of an infant who has been alleged or found to be an abandoned infant comes forward and the maternity or paternity of such person is confirmed by a test to confirm maternity or paternity, the court shall order an investigation pursuant to section 1034(1) of the family court act. If there are grounds pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f) of section 1012 of the family court act to file a petition to determine abuse or neglect pursuant to section 1031 of the family court act, the, local commissioner shall file such petition with- in three court days. Upon such filing, a hearing pursuant to section 1027 of the family court act shall be held forthwith. If no such grounds exist, the court shall hold a best interests hearing as to whether it is in the best interests of the child to return the child to the child's home or to continue the custody of the child with the local commissioner. Except for good cause shown, such hearing shall be commenced within three court days. The custody of the child with the local commissioner shall continue pending the result of the best interests hearing. If maternity or paternity is confirmed and the child is free for adoption, the court shall vacate the order committing guardianship and custody of the child.

Section eleven amends section 352 of the social services law by adding a new subdivision 4 which provides that the requirement to locate the parents of a child does not apply when such child is an abandoned infant.

Section twelve adds a new paragraph (g) to subdivision 1 of section 352-a of the social services law relating to non-marital children. New paragraph (g) provides that when such child is an abandoned infant there shall be no requirement to establish paternity nor to locate the parents of such infant.

Section thirteen amends subdivision 2 of section 371 of the social services law, as amended by chapter 666 of the laws of 1976, and adds a new subdivision 2-a. Subdivision 2, which defines "abandoned child," is amended by providing gender-neutral language. New subdivision 2-a defines "abandoned infant" by referencing the appropriate sections of both the family court act and the social services law.

Section fourteen amends paragraph (ii) of subdivision 4-a of section 371 of the social services law, as added by chapter 782 of the laws of 1971, by including "an abandoned child" and "an abandoned infant" in

the definition of "neglected child" under section 371 of the social services law.

Section fifteen amends the opening paragraph and paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of subdivision 1 of section 372 of the social services law by providing that in the instance of abandoned infants, certain information needed, such as the date of birth and apparent age of the infant, certain records of the full names and places of birth of the infant's parents, a certified copy of the court order determining that the child was an abandoned infant, and the religious faith of the infant's parents and the child, if known, shall be recorded by an alternate method as designated in this section,

Section sixteen amends paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 of section 384-b of the social services law, as amended by section 55 of part A of chapter 3 of the laws of 2005, by providing that certain procedures with regard to the notice petition for a termination hearing shall not apply when the subject child is an abandoned infant. However, where such child is an abandoned infant and the identity of the parents of the child is unknown, the court shall require the local commissioner of social services to publish notice of the hearing in the county in which such child was found for at least thirty days. The information to be included in the publication is provided. If at any time prior to or subsequent to the entry of an order committing the guardianship and custody of the child pursuant to section 384-b of the social services law but not later than six months after the initial publication of notice of a proceeding pursuant to section 1031-a of the family court act, the maternity or paternity of a person claiming to be the mother or father of the abandoned infant is confirmed by a test to be conducted to confirm maternity or paternity, the proceeding shall be stayed pending an investigation pursuant to section 1034(1) of the family court act. Within three court days of the completion of the investigation, if there are grounds pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f) of section 1012 of the family court act to file a petition to determine abuse or neglect pursuant to section 1031 of the amity court act, the local commissioner shall file such petition, or if there are no such grounds, the court shall hold a hearing as to the best interests of the child. The custody of the child with the local commissioner shall continue pending the result of the best interests hearing.

Section seventeen amends subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (1) of subdivision 3 of section 384-b of the social services law, as amended by chapter 145 of the laws of 2000, and adds a new subparagraph (vi). Subparagraph (iii) provides that the date of the child's entry into foster care is the earlier of sixty days after the date on which the child is removed from the home or the date the child is found by a court to be an abandoned infant or an abused or neglected child. New subparagraph (vi) provides that a petition for the termination of parental rights shall be filed within sixty days after a court determines that the infant is an abandoned infant pursuant to section 1051-a of the family court act.

Section eighteen amends paragraphs (d) and (e) of subdivision 4 of section 384-b of the social services law, paragraph (d) amended by chapter 739 of the laws of 1981 and paragraph (e) as amended by section 56 of part A of chapter 3 of the laws of 2005, and adds a new

paragraph (f) that provides that guardianship and custody of such child shall be granted when a parent or parents abandoned a child thirty days old or younger in a manner that indicated the intent of the parent or parents to wholly relinquish and forgo responsibility for and rights to the care and custody of such child with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner, and has not communicated with the child or agency for a period of two months from the date of abandonment.

Section nineteen amends subdivision 5 of section 384-b of the social services law by adding a new paragraph (c) that provides that when a child is an abandoned infant, the provisions of subdivision 5 which provide certain criteria for determining that a child is "abandoned" shall not apply.

Section twenty amends the social services law by adding a new section 392-a which provides special provisions regarding an abandoned infant and procedures to be followed by the local commissioner of social services, including publicizing the abandonment of the child through local media outlets and specifically in the community where the abandonment occurred, and the availability of prevention services, and referral and counseling services to victims of domestic violence. The section provides that if the maternity or paternity of a person claiming to be the mother or father of the infant is confirmed by a test to confirm maternity or paternity, the local commissioner shall conduct an investigation pursuant to section 1034(1) of the family court act. If there are no grounds pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f) of section 1012 of the family court act, the local commissioner shall withdraw the petition to determine whether a child is an abandoned infant; if there are grounds pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f) of section 1012, the local commissioner shall file a petition to determine abuse or neglect pursuant to section 1031 of the family court act within three court days of the completion of the investigation.

Section twenty-one amends section 372-g of the social services law, as added by chapter 156 of the laws of 2000, to add that the office of children and family services shall, in implementing a public information program to inform the public regarding the provisions of the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, inform the public regarding the availability of safe placement alternatives for newborn infants, including termination of parental rights and adoption procedures, and that an abandoned infant is not a neglected child under the social services law or the family court act. Such public information program shall also inform the general public of the availability of prevention services, and referral and counseling services to victims of domestic violence. The office of children and family services shall develop and implement the public information program within amounts appropriated or available by the state.

Section twenty-two 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 2000 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. When originally enacted, the Act also 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 The penal law was amended in 2010 to eliminate criminal liability altogether 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.

The Act, however, made no changes to the family court act or to the social services law. Therefore, under current law, a local social services district is still required to search for the parents of the abandoned infant and bring them before the court in an abandonment proceeding. This leads to the unintended consequence of parents who fear being identified abandoning their babies in an unsafe manner, leading to injury to, and sometimes the death of, the infants. In addition, while attempts are made to identify the infant's parents, abandoned infants languish in foster care while the filing of a petition to terminate parental rights and to free the infant for adoption is delayed.

This legislation seeks to amend the relevant provisions in social services law and the family court act to provide for the safe and anonymous abandonment of an infant thirty days or younger, increased from five days or younger, as is provided under penal law. In addition, the bill will amend social services law and the family court act to provide that upon a court determination that a child appears to have been abandoned in accordance with the definition of an abandoned infant, the local commissioner of social services shall not be required to determine the identity of the person who abandons an infant as provided and to set forth the process that must be taken by local social services districts to proceed with termination of parental rights proceedings and permanency hearings.

This legislation protects parental rights by providing a mechanism through which a parent may come forward to establish maternal or paternal rights at any time after abandonment until six months after the first publication of the notice of the proceeding to determine whether a child is an abandoned infant. The bill requires that upon receipt of notice that a child who appears to be an abandoned infant has been found, the local commissioner of social services shall commence a proceeding to determine whether a child is an abandoned infant. If the identity of the parents of the child is unknown, the

court must first hold a hearing to determine whether the child appears to have been abandoned in accordance with the definition of an abandoned infant. If at such hearing the court determines that the circumstances of the abandonment meet the definition of abandoned infant, the court shall require the local commissioner to cause notice through publication in a newspaper in each of three successive weeks in the county in which the child was found that an abandoned infant was found, the date, time and place the abandoned infant was found, a description of the infant including the approximate date of birth and that if a parent does not appear at the proceeding the child may be deemed an abandoned infant and placed into the custody of the local commissioner. In addition, the local commissioner is required to publicize the abandonment of the child through local media outlets and specifically in the community where the abandonment occurred. Furthermore, in order to sustain a petition alleging that a child is an abandoned infant, inquiries must have been made to the putative father registry and to local law enforcement officials regarding a missing person report. It should be noted, however, that in the ten years since the Act was passed, we have learned that attempts at reunification of the parent with the abandoned infant is most often not in the best interest of that infant.

By increasing the age of an infant who is abandoned from five days or younger to thirty days or younger, the 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. Increasing the age will also make the age at which an infant is considered to be safely abandoned under civil law consistent with the age at which an infant is considered to be safely abandoned under criminal law and which allows the abandoning parent not to be subject to criminal prosecution.

Without amending current law, local social services districts will continue to search for the parent who abandons his or her child, causing parents to fear being identified. That fear serves only to discourage a woman from safely abandoning her infant. When a woman wants to abandon her infant but fears not just prosecution, but also serious repercussions from family or perhaps even an abusive spouse, or deportation, she is more likely to abandon her infant in a way that results in injury to, or even a tragic death for, that infant.

Furthermore, if a woman has concealed her pregnancy from the father, her family, school or employer, she may attempt to give birth without the assistance of a physician or other health care practitioner under less than optimal conditions, thereby endangering her own health and safety.

In 2006, in the New York City area alone, twice as many dead newborns were found abandoned as in the preceding year. Moreover, it is not only confusing but also misleading to conduct a public information program that "offers hope" to a mother and her baby, announcing that a woman can safely abandon her baby "anonymously" when in fact current law requires social service districts to search for the parent who abandoned the child and subjects such parent to a neglect proceeding when found. We have inadvertently set a trap for parents who feel compelled to abandon their babies and want to do so in a safe manner, and at the same time made it practically impossible for parents to

abandon their babies in a safe manner if they want to remain anonymous. In fact, because social services districts are required by law to search for the abandoning parents and do so with the assistance of law enforcement, including by questioning hospital physicians and other personnel, it has been reported that hospital physicians and staff are no longer willing to assist pregnant women with their births because they fear being interrogated by law enforcement conducting an investigation into the abandonment of a child and being compelled, under threat of prosecution, to disclose the identity of a mother or other information relating to the birth of her baby. It is incongruous to provide on the one hand that a mother who safely abandons her child may not be subject to criminal prosecution, yet is sought and if found, subject to a comprehensive series of intrusive civil proceedings. Discovery of the abandoning mother's identity may also endanger the safety of the mother.

This catch-22 faced by mothers is highlighted by a case in which a newborn baby was found inside a shoe box, abandoned in the lobby of an apartment building in Hempstead, New York. Although it appeared that the parent of the newborn intended to leave the baby safely and anonymously, her attempt at anonymity has been thwarted and precisely what the mother likely feared has occurred: she became the subject of a very public media campaign requesting information about her. It cannot be denied that the public search for the mother in Hempstead will serve as a stark illustration for pregnant women of what is in store for them should they want, to safely abandon their babies. It then becomes less difficult to imagine why a woman, who does not want or feels she cannot keep her newborn, might believe she has no choice other than to abandon her baby in a place or in a manner in which her identity cannot be traced, i.e. in a dumpster or an alley.

By clarifying that social services districts need not, after procedural safeguards have been met, search for a parent who safely abandons his or her child or reunite the abandoned infant with his or her parent before proceeding with a permanency plan for that infant, we will better achieve the goal of protecting the safety and welfare of such infants. Moreover, we will encourage women to give birth safely, thereby ensuring the health and safety of the mothers.

In the ten-year period since the Act was passed, there have been one hundred eighteen babies who have been safely abandoned pursuant to the Act and one hundred twelve adoptions of those babies. 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 removing unintended barriers to its use, as well as enables the earlier placement of abandoned infants in a permanent home.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

A.336, 2011 and 2012 referred to judiciary. Same as S.2712 ,2011 and 2012 referred to judiciary. Similar to A.6092D, 2009 and 2010, referred to judiciary. Similar to A. 10528/S.7983, 2008 referred to judiciary. Same as S.7983, 2008 committed to rules.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Positive impact on both the state and local social services districts.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5144 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 10, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SKELOS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families AN ACT to amend the family court act and the social services law, in relation to abandoned infants THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (ii) of subdivision (f) and subdivision (j) of section 1012 of the family court act, paragraph (ii) of subdivision (f) as amended by chapter 666 of the laws of 1976 and subdivision (j) as amended by section 3 of part B of chapter 3 of the laws of 2005, are amended and a new subdivision (l) is added to read as follows: (ii) who has been abandoned, in accordance with the definition and other criteria set forth in subdivision five of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, by his parents or other person legally responsible for his care, BUT SHALL NOT INCLUDE AN ABANDONED INFANT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION (L) OF THIS SECTION. (j) "Aggravated circumstances" means where a child has been either severely or repeatedly abused, as defined in subdivision eight of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law; or where a child has subsequently been found to be an abused child, as defined in paragraph (i) or (iii) of subdivision (e) of this section, within five years after return home following placement in foster care as a result of being found to be a neglected child, as defined in subdivision (f) of this section, provided that the respondent or respondents in each of the foregoing proceedings was the same; or where the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent of a child in foster care has refused and has failed completely, over a period of at least six months from the date of removal, to engage in services necessary to eliminate the risk of abuse or neglect if returned to the parent, and has failed to secure services on his or her own or otherwise adequately prepare for the return home and, after being informed by the court that such an
admission could eliminate the requirement that the local department of social services provide reunification services to the parent, the parent has stated in court under oath that he or she intends to continue to refuse such necessary services and is unwilling to secure such services independently or otherwise prepare for the child's return home; provided, however, that if the court finds that adequate justification exists for the failure to engage in or secure such services, including but not limited to a lack of child care, a lack of transportation, and an inability to attend services that conflict with the parent's work schedule, such failure shall not constitute an aggravated circumstance; or where a court has determined a child [five] THIRTY days old or young- er was abandoned by a parent with an intent to wholly abandon such child and with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner. (L) "ABANDONED INFANT" MEANS A CHILD WHO HAS BEEN LEFT BY HIS OR HER PARENT WHEN THIRTY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER, IN A MANNER THAT INDICATED THE PARENT'S INTENT TO WHOLLY ABANDON SUCH CHILD BY RELINQUISHING AND FORE- GOING RESPONSIBILITY FOR AND RIGHTS TO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF SUCH CHILD WITH THE INTENT THAT THE CHILD BE SAFE FROM PHYSICAL INJURY AND CARED FOR IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER. S 2. The family court act is amended by adding a new section 1031-a to read as follows: S 1031-A. ABANDONED INFANTS, PRELIMINARY PROCEDURE. (A) UPON RECEIPT OF NOTICE THAT A CHILD WHO APPEARS TO BE AN ABANDONED INFANT HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE JURISDICTION OF THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT, THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL IMMEDIATELY TAKE PROTECTIVE CUSTODY OF THE CHILD PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWENTY-FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE UNTIL FURTHER ORDER OF THE COURT. (B) A PROCEEDING TO DETERMINE WHETHER A CHILD IS AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (L) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTI- CLE SHALL BE COMMENCED BY SUCH LOCAL COMMISSIONER FORTHWITH. THE PETI- TION FOR SUCH PROCEEDING SHALL: (I) ALLEGE THE LOCATION AND DATE OF AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES BY WHICH IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE CHILD WAS ABANDONED; AND (II) ALLEGE THAT UPON INFORMATION AND BELIEF, THE CHILD IN QUESTION WAS THIRTY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER WHEN FOUND. (C) THE COURT UPON RECEIPT OF THE PETITION SHALL APPOINT AN ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD TO REPRESENT THE CHILD ALLEGED TO BE AN ABANDONED INFANT. (D) IF THE IDENTITY OF THE PARENTS OF THE CHILD IS UNKNOWN, THE COURT UPON RECEIPT OF THE PETITION SHALL HOLD A HEARING TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE CHILD APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ABANDONED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DEFI- NITION OF ABANDONED INFANT PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION (1) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE. (I) AT SUCH HEARING, IF THE COURT DETERMINES THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ABANDONMENT MEET THE DEFINITION OF ABANDONED INFANT IN SUBDIVISION (1) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE, THE COURT SHALL: (A) ORDER THAT THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO COMMENCE A DILIGENT SEARCH TO LOCATE THE PARENT OR PARENTS OR OTHER RELATIVES OF THE CHILD; AND (B) REQUIRE THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO CAUSE NOTICE OF THE PROCEEDING TO BE PUBLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION (A) OF RULE THREE HUNDRED SIXTEEN OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH SUCH CHILD WAS FOUND, AT LEAST ONCE IN EACH OF THREE SUCCESSIVE WEEKS. SERVICE BY PUBLICATION IS COMPLETE ON THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY AFTER THE DAY OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION. THE NOTICE SHALL STATE:
(1) THE DATE, TIME AND PURPOSE OF THE PROCEEDING; (2) THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE THAT THE ABANDONED INFANT WAS FOUND; (3) A DESCRIPTION OF THE INFANT INCLUDING ITS APPROXIMATE DATE OF BIRTH; (4) THAT UPON FAILURE OF THE PARENT TO APPEAR, THE CHILD MAY BE DEEMED AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (L) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE AND PLACED INTO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT IN THE PARENT'S ABSENCE; AND (5) THE NAME, ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE PERSON DESIGNATED BY THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION REGARDING SUCH CHILD. (II) IN DETERMINING WHETHER REMOVAL OR CONTINUING THE REMOVAL OF A CHILD IS NECESSARY TO AVOID IMMINENT RISK TO THE CHILD'S LIFE OR HEALTH, THE COURT SHALL CONSIDER AND DETERMINE IN ITS ORDER WHETHER CONTINUATION IN THE CHILD'S HOME WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD AND WHERE APPROPRIATE, WHETHER REASONABLE EFFORTS WERE MADE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE HEARING HELD UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION TO PREVENT OR ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR REMOVAL OF THE CHILD FROM THE HOME AND, IF THE CHILD WAS REMOVED FROM HIS OR HER HOME PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE HEARING HELD UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION, WHERE APPROPRIATE, THAT REASONABLE EFFORTS WERE MADE TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE CHILD TO SAFELY RETURN HOME. IF THE COURT DETERMINES THAT REASONABLE EFFORTS TO PREVENT OR ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR REMOVAL OF THE CHILD FROM THE HOME WERE NOT MADE BUT THAT THE LACK OF SUCH EFFORTS WAS APPROPRIATE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE COURT ORDER SHALL INCLUDE SUCH A FINDING. (E) IF A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE A PARENT OF THE CHILD IN QUESTION WHO IS ALLEGED TO BE AN ABANDONED INFANT, COMES FORWARD, THE LOCAL COMMIS- SIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL: (I) PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTIFICATION TO THE COURT AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD FORTHWITH; AND (II) CAUSE A TEST TO BE CONDUCTED TO CONFIRM MATERNITY OR PATERNITY OF THE PERSONS CLAIMING TO BE THE MOTHER OR FATHER OF THE CHILD IN QUES- TION; AND IF MATERNITY OR PATERNITY IS CONFIRMED, NOTIFY THE COURT WHICH SHALL ORDER AN INVESTIGATION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-FOUR OF THIS PART. THE EXISTING ORDER OF CUSTODY OF THE CHILD TO THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL CONTINUE PEND- ING THE RESULT OF THE INVESTIGATION. (A) IF THERE ARE GROUNDS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (E) OR (F) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE TO FILE A PETITION TO DETERMINE ABUSE OR NEGLECT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE OF THIS PART, THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL FILE SUCH PETITION WITHIN THREE COURT DAYS OF THE COMPLETION OF THE INVESTIGATION. THE PARENT OR PARENTS SHALL BE INFORMED OF THE DATE AND THE TIME THAT THE PETITION SHALL BE FILED, THE ADDRESS OF THE COURT WHERE THE PETITION SHALL BE FILED, OF THE RIGHT OF THE PARENT TO BE PRESENT AT ANY HEARING HELD THEREON AND OF THE RIGHT TO BE REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL, INCLUDING PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING COUNSEL IF INDIGENT. UPON SUCH FILING, A HEAR- ING PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWENTY-SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE HELD FORTHWITH. (B) IF NO SUCH GROUNDS EXIST, THE COURT SHALL DISMISS THE PETITION AND ORDER THAT THE CHILD BE RETURNED TO HIS OR HER PARENT OR PARENTS. S 3. Subdivision (a) of section 1039-b of the family court act, as added by chapter 7 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: (a) In conjunction with, or at any time subsequent to, the filing of a petition under section [ten hundred] ONE THOUSAND thirty-one of this
[chapter] PART, the social services official may file a motion upon notice requesting a finding that reasonable efforts to return the child to his or her home are no longer required. S 4. Subdivision (a) of section 1041 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 1015 of the laws of 1972, is amended to read as follows: (a) that the parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care is present at the hearing and has been served with a copy of the petition, UNLESS THE CHILD IS ALLEGED TO BE AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THIS ARTICLE, IN WHICH EVENT, THE PROVISIONS OF SUBPARAGRAPH (B) OF PARAGRAPH (I) OF SUBDIVI- SION (D) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL APPLY; or S 5. Section 1044 of the family court act, as added by chapter 962 of the laws of 1970, is amended to read as follows: S 1044. Definition of "fact-finding hearing". When used in this arti- cle, "fact-finding hearing" means a hearing to determine whether the child is an abused or neglected child OR AN ABANDONED INFANT as defined by this article. S 6. The family court act is amended by adding a new section 1051-a to read as follows: S 1051-A. SUSTAINING OR DISMISSING A PETITION ALLEGING A CHILD IS AN ABANDONED INFANT. (A) AT THE FACT-FINDING HEARING SCHEDULED PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THIS ARTICLE, THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE THAT THE CHILD IS AN ABANDONED INFANT AND SUSTAIN THE PETITION FILED UNDER SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THIS ARTICLE IF FACTS SUFFICIENT TO CONSTITUTE CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE ARE ESTABLISHED TO FIND THAT THE CHILD WAS THIRTY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER WHEN ABANDONED AND THAT THE CHILD WAS LEFT IN A MANNER THAT INDICATED HIS OR HER PARENT'S INTENT TO WHOLLY ABANDON SUCH CHILD BY RELINQUISHING AND FOREGOING RESPONSIBILITY FOR AND RIGHTS TO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF SUCH CHILD WITH THE INTENT THAT THE CHILD BE SAFE FROM PHYSICAL INJURY AND CARED FOR IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER. FOR PURPOSES OF FINDING THAT THE CHILD WAS THIRTY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER WHEN ABANDONED, AN AFFIDAVIT OR OTHER OFFICIAL RECORD OF A DETERMINATION OF A QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, LICENSED OR CERTIFIED UNDER TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW, ACTING WITHIN HIS OR HER LAWFUL SCOPE OF PRACTICE WHO EXAMINED THE CHILD THAT SUCH CHILD WAS THIRTY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER WHEN ABANDONED AND THE DATE OF BIRTH OF THE CHILD, TO A REASONABLE DEGREE OF MEDICAL CERTAINTY; AN AFFIDAVIT OR OFFICIAL RECORD, INCLUDING A POLICE REPORT OR TESTIMONY REGARDING THE MANNER OF THE ABANDONMENT OF THE CHILD; AND AN AFFIDAVIT OR OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE RESULT OF THE INQUIRIES MADE TO THE PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY AND TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS REGARDING A MISS- ING PERSON REPORT, SHALL BE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE OF THE CHILD'S AGE AND DATE OF BIRTH AND THE INTENT TO WHOLLY ABANDON THE CHILD. (B) IF THE COURT SUSTAINS THE PETITION AND FINDS THAT THE CHILD IS AN ABANDONED INFANT, THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE AND FIND AND SHALL STATE IN ITS ORDER: (I) THAT THE CHILD WAS THIRTY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER WHEN ABANDONED TO A REASONABLE DEGREE OF MEDICAL CERTAINTY; (II) THE DATE THE CHILD WAS BORN, TO A REASONABLE DEGREE OF MEDICAL CERTAINTY; (III) THAT THE CHILD WAS LEFT IN A MANNER THAT INDICATED HIS OR HER PARENT'S INTENT TO WHOLLY ABANDON THE CHILD BY RELINQUISHING AND FOREGO- ING RESPONSIBILITY FOR AND RIGHTS TO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF SUCH CHILD
WITH THE INTENT THAT THE CHILD BE SAFE FROM PHYSICAL INJURY AND CARED FOR IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER; (IV) THAT BASED UPON THE FINDINGS OF PARAGRAPHS (I) AND (III) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, AGGRAVATED CIRCUMSTANCES WITHIN THE MEANING OF SUBDIVISION (J) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE EXIST; AND (V) THAT BASED UPON SUCH FINDING OF AGGRAVATED CIRCUMSTANCES, REASON- ABLE EFFORTS TO RETURN THE CHILD TO HIS OR HER HOME ARE NOT REQUIRED. (C) IF FACTS SUFFICIENT TO SUSTAIN THE PETITION ARE NOT ESTABLISHED DUE TO A DETERMINATION THAT EITHER THE CHILD WAS OLDER THAN THIRTY DAYS AT THE TIME OF ABANDONMENT OR THE CHILD IS NOT OTHERWISE AN ABANDONED INFANT AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, THE COURT SHALL CONVERT THE PETITION TO A PROCEEDING TO DETERMINE ABUSE OR NEGLECT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE AND SHALL STATE ON THE RECORD THE GROUNDS FOR THE CONVERSION. (I) THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER TEMPORARY CUSTODY OF THE CHILD TO THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL CONTINUE UNTIL FURTHER ORDER OF THE COURT. IN DETERMINING WHETHER REMOVAL OR CONTINUING THE REMOVAL OF A CHILD IS NECESSARY TO AVOID IMMINENT RISK TO THE CHILD'S LIFE OR HEALTH, THE COURT SHALL CONSIDER AND DETERMINE IN ITS ORDER WHETHER CONTINUATION IN THE CHILD'S HOME WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD AND WHERE APPROPRIATE, WHETHER REASONABLE EFFORTS WERE MADE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE HEARING HELD UNDER SUBDIVI- SION (A) OF THIS SECTION TO PREVENT OR ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR REMOVAL OF THE CHILD FROM THE HOME AND, IF THE CHILD WAS REMOVED FROM HIS OR HER HOME PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE HEARING HELD UNDER SUBDIVISION (A) OF THIS SECTION, WHERE APPROPRIATE, THAT REASONABLE EFFORTS WERE MADE TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE CHILD TO SAFELY RETURN HOME. (II) IF THE COURT DETERMINES THAT REASONABLE EFFORTS TO PREVENT OR ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR REMOVAL OF THE CHILD FROM THE HOME WERE NOT MADE BUT THAT THE LACK OF SUCH EFFORTS WAS APPROPRIATE UNDER THE CIRCUM- STANCES, THE COURT ORDER SHALL INCLUDE SUCH A FINDING. (D) AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE DISPOSITIONAL HEARING THAT SHALL BE COMMENCED IMMEDIATELY UPON COMPLETION OF THE FACT-FINDING HEARING WHEN THE PETITION HAS BEEN SUSTAINED, THE COURT SHALL ENTER AN ORDER OF DISPOSITION: (I) PLACING THE CHILD IN THE CUSTODY OF THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES, WHO SHALL MAKE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO PLACE THE CHILD INTO A PRE-ADOPTIVE HOME, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND FIFTY-FIVE OF THIS PART, UPON A DETERMINATION THAT: (A) CONTINUATION IN THE CHILD'S HOME WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD; AND (B) WHERE THE COURT HAS DETERMINED THAT THE PARENT OF SUCH CHILD HAS SUBJECTED THE CHILD TO AGGRAVATED CIRCUMSTANCES, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVI- SION (J) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE, REASONABLE EFFORTS TO PREVENT OR ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR REMOVING THE CHILD FROM THE HOME OF THE CHILD OR TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE CHILD TO RETURN SAFELY TO HIS OR HER HOME ARE NOT REQUIRED; (II) REQUIRING THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO COMMENCE A PROCEEDING TO COMMIT THE GUARDIANSHIP AND CUSTODY OF SUCH CHILD TO AN AUTHORIZED AGENCY PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR-B OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW WITHIN SIXTY DAYS; AND (III) IF THE INITIAL PERMANENCY HEARING HAS NOT BEEN HELD, SETTING A DATE CERTAIN FOR AN INITIAL PERMANENCY HEARING PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH ONE OF SUBDIVISION (B) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND EIGHTY-NINE OF THIS ACT.
S 7. Paragraph (i) of subdivision (a) of section 1055 of the family court act, as amended by section 12 of part G of chapter 58 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: (i) For purposes of section one thousand fifty-two of this part the court may place the child in the custody of a relative or other suitable person pursuant to this article, or of the local commissioner of social services or of such other officer, board or department as may be author- ized to receive children as public charges, or a duly authorized associ- ation, agency, society or in an institution suitable for the placement of a child. The court may also place a child who it finds to be a sexu- ally exploited child as defined in subdivision one of section four hundred forty-seven-a of the social services law with the local commis- sioner of social services for placement in an available long-term safe house. The court may also place the child in the custody of the local commissioner of social services and may direct such commissioner to have the child reside with a relative or other suitable person who has indi- cated a desire to become a foster parent for the child and further direct such commissioner, pursuant to regulations of the office of chil- dren and family services, to commence an investigation of the home of such relative or other suitable person within twenty-four hours and thereafter expedite approval or certification of such relative or other suitable person, if qualified, as a foster parent. If such home is found to be unqualified for approval or certification, the local commissioner shall report such fact to the court forthwith so that the court may make a placement determination that is in the best interests of the child. FOR PURPOSES OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND FIFTY-ONE-A OF THIS PART, THE COURT MAY PLACE THE CHILD IN THE CUSTODY OF THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES OR OF SUCH OTHER OFFICER, BOARD OR DEPARTMENT AS MAY BE AUTHOR- IZED TO RECEIVE CHILDREN AS PUBLIC CHARGES, OR A DULY AUTHORIZED ASSOCI- ATION, AGENCY, SOCIETY OR IN AN INSTITUTION SUITABLE FOR THE PLACEMENT OF A CHILD. S 8. Paragraph (ii) of subdivision (b) of section 1055 of the family court act, as amended by section 18 of part A of chapter 3 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: (ii) (A) Upon placing a child under the age of one, who has been aban- doned AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (II) OF SUBDIVISION (F) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE, with a local commissioner of social services, the court shall, where either of the parents do not appear after due notice, include in its order of disposition pursuant to section one thousand fifty-two of this part, a direction that such commissioner shall promptly commence a diligent search to locate the child's non-appearing parent or parents or other known relatives who are legally responsible for the child, and to commence a proceeding to commit the guardianship and custody of such child to an authorized agen- cy pursuant to section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, six months from the date that care and custody of the child was transferred to the LOCAL commissioner, unless there has been communication and visitation between such child and such parent or parents or other known relatives or persons legally responsible for the child. In addition to such diligent search, the local commissioner of social services shall provide written notice to the child's parent or parents or other known relatives or persons legally responsible as provided for in this paragraph. Such notice shall be served upon such parent or parents or other known relatives or persons legally responsi- ble in the manner required for service of process pursuant to section six hundred seventeen of this act. Information regarding such diligent
search, including, but not limited to, the name, last known address, social security number, employer's address and any other identifying information to the extent known regarding the non-appearing parent, shall be recorded in the uniform case record maintained pursuant to section four hundred nine-f of the social services law. (B) THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL NOT APPLY TO AN ABANDONED INFANT, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION (L) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE. S 9. Subparagraph (i) of paragraph 1 of subdivision (b) of section 1089 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 437 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (i) the child's parent, including any non-respondent parent, unless the parental rights of the parent have been terminated or surrendered, OR UNLESS THE CHILD HAS BEEN ALLEGED OR FOUND TO BE AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THIS ACT AND THE IDEN- TITY OF THE PARENT OR PARENTS IS UNKNOWN, and any other person legally responsible for the child's care at the most recent address or addresses known to the local social services district or agency, and the foster parent in whose home the child currently resides, each of whom shall be a party to the proceeding; and S 10. Subdivision (b) of section 1089 of the family court act is amended by adding two new paragraphs 3 and 4 to read as follows: (3) IN THE CASE OF A CHILD WHO IS NOT FREE FOR ADOPTION WHO HAS BEEN ALLEGED OR FOUND TO BE AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOU- SAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THIS ACT WHERE THE IDENTITY OF THE PARENT OR PARENTS IS UNKNOWN, THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL CAUSE NOTICE OF THE PERMANENCY HEARING TO BE PUBLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE THREE HUNDRED SIXTEEN OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH SUCH CHILD WAS FOUND. THE NOTICE SHALL STATE: (I) THE DATE, TIME AND PURPOSE OF THE PROCEEDING; (II) THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE THAT THE ABANDONED INFANT WAS FOUND; (III) A DESCRIPTION OF THE INFANT INCLUDING ITS APPROXIMATE DATE OF BIRTH; (IV) THAT UPON FAILURE OF THE PARENT TO APPEAR THE CHILD MAY CONTINUE TO BE PLACED INTO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT IN THE PARENT'S ABSENCE; AND (V) THE NAME, ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE PERSON DESIGNATED BY THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION REGARDING SUCH CHILD. (4) IN THE CASE OF A CHILD WHO HAS BEEN ALLEGED OR FOUND TO BE AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THIS ACT BUT NOT LATER THAN SIX MONTHS AFTER THE INITIAL PUBLICATION OF NOTICE OF SUCH PROCEEDING, IF THE MATERNITY OR PATERNITY OF A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE THE MOTHER OR FATHER OF THE INFANT IS CONFIRMED BY A TEST TO BE CONDUCTED TO CONFIRM MATERNITY OR PATERNITY, (I) THE COURT SHALL ORDER AN INVESTIGATION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-FOUR OF THIS ACT AND (A) IF THERE ARE GROUNDS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (E) OR (F) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THIS ACT TO FILE A PETITION TO DETERMINE ABUSE OR NEGLECT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE OF THIS ACT, THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL FILE SUCH PETITION WITHIN THREE COURT DAYS. UPON SUCH FILING, A HEARING PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWENTY-SEVEN OF THIS ACT SHALL BE HELD FORTHWITH; OR (B) IF THERE ARE NO GROUNDS TO FILE A PETITION PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE OF THIS ACT, THE COURT SHALL HOLD A BEST INTERESTS
HEARING AS TO WHETHER IT IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD TO RETURN THE CHILD TO HIS OR HER HOME OR TO CONTINUE THE CUSTODY OF THE CHILD WITH THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES. EXCEPT FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN SUCH HEARING SHALL COMMENCE WITHIN THREE COURT DAYS. THE CUSTODY OF THE CHILD WITH THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL CONTINUE PENDING THE RESULT OF THE BEST INTERESTS HEARING; (II) IF THE CHILD IS FREE FOR ADOPTION, THE COURT SHALL ALSO VACATE THE ORDER COMMITTING GUARDIANSHIP AND CUSTODY OF THE CHILD. S 11. Section 352 of the social services law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows: 4. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE PARENTS OF AN ABANDONED INFANT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION (L) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT AND SECTION THREE HUNDRED NINETY-TWO-A OF THIS CHAPTER. S 12. Subdivision 1 of section 352-a of the social services law is amended by adding a new paragraph (g) to read as follows: (G) THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE PARENTS OF AN ABANDONED INFANT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION (L) OF SECTION ONE THOU- SAND TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT AND SECTION THREE HUNDRED NINETY-TWO-A OF THIS CHAPTER. S 13. Subdivision 2 of section 371 of the social services law, as amended by chapter 666 of the laws of 1976, is amended and a new subdi- vision 2-a is added to read as follows: 2. "Abandoned child" means a child under the age of eighteen years who is abandoned by both parents, or by the parent having [its] HIS OR HER custody, or by any other person or persons lawfully charged with [its] HIS OR HER care or custody, in accordance with the definition and other criteria set forth in subdivision five of section three hundred eighty- four-b OF THIS TITLE; 2-A. "ABANDONED INFANT" MEANS A CHILD AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION (L) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT AND SECTION THREE HUNDRED NINETY-TWO-A OF THIS TITLE; S 14. Paragraph (ii) of subdivision 4-a of section 371 of the social services law, as added by chapter 782 of the laws of 1971, is amended to read as follows: (ii) who has been abandoned by his OR HER parents or other person legally responsible for his OR HER care, INCLUDING AN ABANDONED CHILD AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OR AN ABANDONED INFANT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVI- SION TWO-A OF THIS SECTION. S 15. The opening paragraph and paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of subdi- vision 1 of section 372 of the social services law are amended to read as follows: Every court, and every public board, commission, institution, or offi- cer having powers or charged with duties in relation to abandoned CHIL- DREN, INCLUDING ABANDONED INFANTS, delinquent, destitute, neglected or dependent children who shall receive, accept or commit any child shall provide and keep a record showing: (b) his OR HER sex and date and place of birth, if ascertainable, or his OR HER apparent age AND IN THE CASE OF AN ABANDONED INFANT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO-A OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE, THE AFFIDAVIT OR OTHER OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE DETERMINATION OF A QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, LICENSED OR CERTIFIED UNDER TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW, ACTING WITHIN HIS OR HER LAWFUL SCOPE OF PRACTICE ATTESTING THAT THE CHILD WAS THIRTY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER AT THE TIME OF ABANDONMENT AND THE DATE OF BIRTH OF THE CHILD, TO A REASON- ABLE DEGREE OF MEDICAL CERTAINTY,
(c) the full and true names and places of birth of his OR HER parents, and their actual residence if living, or their latest known residence, if deceased or whereabouts unknown and the name and actual residence of any other person having custody of the child, as nearly as the same can reasonably be ascertained, AND IN THE CASE OF AN ABANDONED INFANT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO-A OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE, A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE COURT ORDER DETERMINING THAT THE CHILD WAS AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND FIFTY-ONE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, (d) the religious faith of the parents and of the child, IF KNOWN, S 16. Paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 of section 384-b of the social services law, as amended by section 55 of part A of chapter 3 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: (e) (I) A proceeding under this section is originated by a petition on notice served upon the child's parent or parents, the attorney for the child's parent or parents and upon such other persons as the court may in its discretion prescribe. Such notice shall inform the parents and such other persons that the proceeding may result in an order freeing the child for adoption without the consent of or notice to the parents or such other persons. Such notice also shall inform the parents and such other persons of their right to the assistance of counsel, includ- ing any right they may have to have counsel assigned by the court in any case where they are financially unable to obtain counsel. The petition shall set forth the names and last known addresses of all persons required to be given notice of the proceeding, pursuant to this section and section three hundred eighty-four-c of this title, and there shall be shown by the petition or by affidavit or other proof satisfactory to the court that there are no persons other than those set forth in the petition who are entitled to notice pursuant to the provisions of this section or of section three hundred eighty-four-c of this title. When the proceeding is initiated in family court service of the petition and other process shall be made in accordance with the provisions of section six hundred seventeen of the family court act, and when the proceeding is initiated in surrogate's court, service shall be made in accordance with the provisions of section three hundred seven of the surrogate's court procedure act. When the proceeding is initiated on the grounds of abandonment of a child less than one year of age at the time of the transfer of the care and custody of such child to a local social services official, the court shall take judicial notice of efforts to locate the child's parents or other known relatives or other persons legally responsible pursuant to paragraph (ii) of subdivision (b) of section one thousand fifty-five of the family court act. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL NOT APPLY TO A CHILD DETERMINED TO BE AN ABAN- DONED INFANT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO-A OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE. (II) IF THE IDENTITY OF THE PARENTS OF THE CHILD IS UNKNOWN, AND THE CHILD HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (L) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OR SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, THE COURT UPON RECEIPT OF THE PETITION SHALL REQUIRE THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER TO CAUSE NOTICE TO BE PUBLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE THREE HUNDRED SIXTEEN OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH SUCH CHILD WAS FOUND, FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS. THE NOTICE SHALL STATE: (A) THE DATE, TIME AND PURPOSE OF THE PROCEEDING; (B) THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE THAT THE ABANDONED NEWBORN INFANT WAS FOUND;
(C) A DESCRIPTION OF THE INFANT INCLUDING ITS APPROXIMATE DATE OF BIRTH; (D) THAT UPON FAILURE TO APPEAR, ALL PARENTAL RIGHTS OF THE PARENTS OF SUCH ABANDONED NEWBORN INFANT MAY BE TERMINATED; (E) THAT A PARENT'S FAILURE TO APPEAR SHALL CONSTITUTE A DENIAL OF HIS OR HER INTEREST IN THE CHILD, WHICH DENIAL MAY RESULT, WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE, IN THE COMMITMENT OF THE CUSTODY AND GUARDIANSHIP OF THE CHILD TO THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES AND IN THE CHILD'S ADOPTION; AND (F) THE NAME, ADDRESS, AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE PERSON DESIGNATED BY THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION REGARDING SUCH CHILD. (III) AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO OR SUBSEQUENT TO THE ENTRY OF AN ORDER COMMITTING THE GUARDIANSHIP AND CUSTODY OF THE CHILD PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION BUT NOT LATER THAN SIX MONTHS AFTER THE INITIAL PUBLICATION OF NOTICE OF THE PROCEEDING PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, IF THE MATERNITY OR PATERNITY OF A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE THE MOTHER OR FATHER OF THE INFANT IS CONFIRMED BY A TEST TO BE CONDUCTED TO CONFIRM MATERNITY OR PATERNITY, THE PROCEEDING SHALL BE STAYED PENDING AN INVESTIGATION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-FOUR OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT. WITHIN THREE COURT DAYS OF THE COMPLETION OF THE INVESTIGATION, (A) IF THERE ARE GROUNDS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (E) OR (F) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT TO FILE A PETITION TO DETER- MINE ABUSE OR NEGLECT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL FILE SUCH PETITION, OR (B) IF THERE ARE NO SUCH GROUNDS, THE COURT SHALL HOLD A HEARING AS TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD. (IV) THE CUSTODY OF THE CHILD WITH THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL CONTINUE PENDING THE RESULT OF THE BEST INTERESTS HEAR- ING. (V) IF THE CHILD IS FREE FOR ADOPTION, THE COURT SHALL VACATE THE ORDER COMMITTING GUARDIANSHIP AND CUSTODY OF THE CHILD. S 17. Subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (l) of subdivision 3 of section 384-b of the social services law, as amended by chapter 145 of the laws of 2000, is amended and a new subparagraph (vi) is added to read as follows: (iii) For the purposes of this paragraph, the date of the child's entry into foster care is the earlier of sixty days after the date on which the child was removed from the home or the date the child was found by a court to be an ABANDONED INFANT, OR AN abused or neglected child pursuant to article ten of the family court act. (VI) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, A PETITION FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS SHALL BE FILED WITHIN SIXTY DAYS AFTER A COURT'S DETER- MINATION THAT THE CHILD IS AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND FIFTY-ONE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT. S 18. Paragraphs (d) and (e) of subdivision 4 of section 384-b of the social services law, paragraph (d) as amended by chapter 739 of the laws of 1981 and paragraph (e) as amended by section 56 of part A of chapter 3 of the laws of 2005, are amended and a new paragraph (f) is added to read as follows: (d) The child is a permanently neglected child; [or] (e) The parent or parents, whose consent to the adoption of the child would otherwise be required in accordance with section one hundred elev- en of the domestic relations law, severely or repeatedly abused such
child. Where a court has determined that reasonable efforts to reunite the child with his or her parent are not required, pursuant to the fami- ly court act or this chapter, a petition to terminate parental rights on the ground of severe abuse as set forth in subparagraph (iii) of para- graph (a) of subdivision eight of this section may be filed immediately upon such determination[.]; OR (F) THE PARENT OR PARENTS ABANDONED THE CHILD WHEN THE CHILD WAS THIR- TY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER IN A MANNER THAT INDICATED THE PARENT'S OR PARENTS' INTENT TO WHOLLY RELINQUISH AND FORGO RESPONSIBILITY FOR AND RIGHTS TO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF SUCH CHILD WITH THE INTENT THAT THE CHILD BE SAFE FROM PHYSICAL INJURY AND CARED FOR IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER, AND SUCH PARENT OR PARENTS, AFTER A PERIOD OF TWO MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF ABANDONMENT, HAVE NOT COMMUNICATED WITH THE CHILD OR AGENCY REGARDING THE CHILD. S 19. Subdivision 5 of section 384-b of the social services law is amended by adding a new paragraph (c) to read as follows: (C) THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO AN ABANDONED INFANT AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO-A OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVEN- TY-ONE OF THIS TITLE. S 20. Title 1 of article 6 of the social services law is amended by adding a new section 392-a to read as follows: S 392-A. ABANDONED INFANTS; SPECIAL PROVISIONS. 1. A CHILD IS AN "ABANDONED INFANT" WHERE A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION HAS DETER- MINED PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND FIFTY-ONE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT THAT SUCH CHILD IS AN ABANDONED INFANT. 2. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, UPON NOTIFICATION THAT AN ALLEGED ABANDONED INFANT IS FOUND WITHIN THE COUNTY OR JURISDIC- TION, THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER SHALL: (I) IMMEDIATELY CAUSE A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION OF THE CHILD TO BE PERFORMED BY A QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, LICENSED OR CERTIFIED UNDER TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW, ACTING WITHIN HIS OR HER LAWFUL SCOPE OF PRACTICE TO DETERMINE THE HEALTH STATUS OF THE CHILD AND THE AGE AND DATE OF BIRTH OF THE CHILD TO A REASONABLE DEGREE OF MEDICAL CERTAINTY. SUCH HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER SHALL CERTIFY BY AFFIDAVIT OR OTHER OFFICIAL RECORD HIS OR HER REASONABLE MEDICAL CONCLUSION AS TO WHETHER THE CHILD WAS THIRTY DAYS OLD OR YOUNGER WHEN ABANDONED AND THE CHILD'S DATE OF BIRTH. THE AFFIDAVIT OR OTHER OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE DETERMINATION SHALL BE PLACED IN THE INFANT'S RECORDS IN PLACE OF THOSE REQUIRED BY SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO OF THIS TITLE; AND (II) FORTHWITH COMMENCE A PROCEEDING PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT. (B) UPON ASSUMPTION OF PROTECTIVE CUSTODY OF A CHILD ALLEGED TO BE AN "ABANDONED INFANT" THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER SHALL: (I) PROVIDE NECESSARY SERVICES OR ASSISTANCE, INCLUDING AUTHORIZING A QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, LICENSED OR CERTIFIED UNDER TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW, ACTING WITHIN HIS OR HER LAWFUL SCOPE OF PRACTICE OR HOSPITAL TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT OR SURGICAL PROCEDURES NECESSARY TO SAFEGUARD THE LIFE OR HEALTH OF THE CHILD; (II) AT THE TIME OF ASSUMPTION OF CUSTODY OF THE CHILD, AT THE TIME OF THE FACT-FINDING HEARING AND AT THE TIME OF THE DISPOSITIONAL HEARING REGARDING THE PETITION TO COMMIT GUARDIANSHIP AND CUSTODY OF THE CHILD TO AN AUTHORIZED AGENCY PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR-B OF THIS TITLE, MAKE INQUIRY OF THE PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY REGARDING THE EXISTENCE OF A NOTICE OF INTENT FILED WITH THE REGISTRY THAT MAY PERTAIN TO THE CHILD AND OF LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS REGARDING
THE EXISTENCE OF A MISSING PERSON REPORT THAT MAY PERTAIN TO THE CHILD. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO PURSUE ANY OTHER EFFORTS TO LOCATE THE PARENTS OR RELATIVES OF SUCH CHILD; (III) PUBLICIZE: (A) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, IN AN EFFORT TO ALLOW A PARENT OR OTHER RELATIVE OF THE CHILD TO COME FORWARD, THE ABANDONMENT OF THE CHILD THROUGH LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS AND SPECIF- ICALLY IN THE COMMUNITY WHERE THE ABANDONMENT OCCURRED WITH THE INFORMA- TION REGARDING THE CHILD TO BE PROVIDED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO PHOTOS OF THE CHILD; AND (B) THE AVAILABILITY OF (1) PREVENTION SERVICES, PERSONAL COUNSELING AND SUPPORT SERVICES AS CONTEMPLATED UNDER TITLES FOUR AND FOUR-B OF THIS ARTICLE; (2) INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICES, ADVOCACY, COUNSELING AND HOTLINE SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS CONTEMPLATED UNDER SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-C OF THIS CHAPTER; AND (3) SAFE PLACE- MENT ALTERNATIVES FOR NEWBORN INFANTS AS PROVIDED UNDER THIS SECTION AND SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, INCLUDING INFORMATION REGARDING TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AND ADOPTION PROCE- DURES AND THAT AN ABANDONED INFANT IS NOT A NEGLECTED CHILD UNDER THIS CHAPTER OR THE FAMILY COURT ACT; AND (IV) IF THE MATERNITY OR PATERNITY OF A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE THE MOTHER OR FATHER OF THE INFANT IS CONFIRMED BY A TEST TO BE CONDUCTED TO CONFIRM MATERNITY OR PATERNITY, CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-FOUR OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT AND IF THERE ARE NO GROUNDS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (E) OR (F) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, WITHDRAW THE PETI- TION TO DETERMINE WHETHER A CHILD IS AN ABANDONED INFANT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (1) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT. IF THERE ARE GROUNDS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (E) AND (F) OF SECTION ONE THOUSAND TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, THE LOCAL COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL FILE A PETITION TO DETERMINE ABUSE OR NEGLECT PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT WITHIN THREE COURT DAYS OF THE COMPLETION OF THE INVESTIGATION. S 21. Section 372-g of the social services law, as added by chapter 156 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows: S 372-g. Abandoned infant protection program. 1. The office of chil- dren and family services shall develop and implement a public informa- tion program to inform the general public of the provisions of the aban- doned infant protection act AND THE AVAILABILITY OF SAFE PLACEMENT ALTERNATIVES FOR NEWBORN INFANTS AS PROVIDED UNDER SECTION THREE HUNDRED NINETY-TWO-A OF THIS TITLE AND SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-ONE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT, INCLUDING INFORMATION REGARDING TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AND ADOPTION PROCEDURES AND THAT AN ABANDONED INFANT IS NOT A NEGLECTED CHILD UNDER THIS CHAPTER OR THE FAMILY COURT ACT. SUCH PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM SHALL ALSO INFORM THE GENERAL PUBLIC OF THE AVAILABILITY OF PREVENTION SERVICES, PERSONAL COUNSELING AND SUPPORT SERVICES AS CONTEMPLATED UNDER TITLES FOUR AND FOUR-B OF THIS ARTICLE, AND INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICES, ADVOCACY, COUNSELING AND HOTLINE SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS CONTEMPLATED UNDER SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-C OF THIS CHAPTER. The program may include but not be limited to the following elements: [1.] (A) educational and informational materials in print, audio, video, electronic, or other media; [2.] (B) public service announcements and advertisements; and [3.] (C) establishment of toll-free telephone hotlines to provide information.
2. THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SHALL DEVELOP AND IMPLE- MENT THE PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM WITHIN AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED OR AVAILABLE BY THE STATE. S 22. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.

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