CHC 1154     

Art. 1154.  Safe haven continued custody hearing; instanter order

A.  Immediately after notification that an infant has been relinquished, the department shall request an oral instanter order of custody from the court in accordance with Article 620 and shall take physical custody of the infant within twelve hours of notice that the infant is ready to be discharged from the hospital.  The department shall exercise due diligence in attempting to identify and locate any non-relinquishing parent, including but not limited to performing a missing children search.

B.(1)  A hearing shall be held by the court within three days after the infant's entry into the custody of the department.

(2)  No notice to a parent or other caretaker shall be required.

(3)  The court shall order the appointment of counsel for the child and may also appoint a CASA volunteer for the child.

(4)  Hearsay evidence shall be admissible at this hearing.

C.  At this hearing, the department has the burden to prove all of the following:

(1)  There are reasonable grounds to believe that the infant has been relinquished to the state for adoption in accordance with this Chapter.

(2)  There is no evidence that the infant was abused or neglected prior to his relinquishment.

D.  If the court finds that the department has satisfied the requirements of Paragraph C of this Article and that removal of the child is necessary in order to safeguard his welfare, it shall order continued custody of the infant in the department prior to final entry of an order declaring parental rights terminated and enter a finding that the department is deemed to have made reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for removal and that reunification efforts are not required.

E.  If the court determines that the infant was abused or neglected prior to its relinquishment, the court shall direct that a child in need of care investigation be commenced by the department in accordance with Title VI.

Acts 2003, No. 609, §2.