Danielís Law: The Safe Haven for Abandoned Babies Act

Danielís is a law designed to provide a safe haven for abandoned babies.

A person who abandons a newborn cannot be prosecuted for abandonment if he or she takes the unharmed baby to staff or an employee of a safe haven.

Safe havens are defined as a hospital or hospital outpatient facility, law enforcement agencies, fire stations, emergency medial services (EMS) stations or a house of worship during the time the church or synagogue is staffed.

  • If the baby has been harmed in some way, the immunity from prosecution may not apply. The law applies to infants up to 60 days old.
  • The person leaving the child does not have to reveal his or her identity.
  • The person leaving the child will be asked to provide medical information about the babyís parents, and if possible, the name of the babyís parents. This will help the medical personnel treat the baby for any health problems.
  • The hospital will provide medical care and contact South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS will have legal custody of the child and will place the child in a foster home.
  • DSS will immediately pursue family court action to free the child for adoption.

For more information

  • Daniel’s Law Update 2016
    Governor Nikki Haley signed into effect H. 4413 which updated Danielís Law to include infants up to 60 days old. Previous law only applied to infants up to 30 days old.