senate Bill S5144

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

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 10 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1449
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Summary

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.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2325
Versions:
S5144
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Family Court Act
Laws Affected:
Amd §§1012, 1039-b, 1041, 1044, 1055 & 1089, add §§1031-a & 1051-a, Fam Ct Act; amd §§352, 352-a, 371, 372, 384-b & 372-g, add Art 6 Title 1 §392-a, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S2712, A336
2009-2010: S2950C, A6092D

Sponsor 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.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5144

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03201-01-3

S. 5144                             2

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:

S. 5144                             3

  (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

S. 5144                             4

[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

S. 5144                             5

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. 5144                             6

  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

S. 5144                             7

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

S. 5144                             8

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,

S. 5144                             9

  (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;

S. 5144                            10

  (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

S. 5144                            11

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

S. 5144                            12

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.

S. 5144                            13

  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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