2020 Montana Code Annotated
Title 40. Family Law
Chapter 6. Parent and Child
Part 4. Montana Safe Haven Newborn Protection Act
40-6-407. Assumption of care, custody, and control by department -- placement of child -- presumptions -- Montana birth certificate

Universal Citation: MT Code § 40-6-407 (2020)

40-6-407. Assumption of care, custody, and control by department -- placement of child -- presumptions -- Montana birth certificate. (1) Upon receipt of notice under 40-6-406, the department shall:

(a) immediately assume the care, control, and temporary protective custody of the newborn;

(b) if a parent is known and willing, immediately meet with the parent;

(c) make a temporary placement of the newborn;

(d) immediately request assistance from law enforcement officials to investigate and determine, through the national center for missing and exploited children and any other national and state missing children information programs, whether the newborn is a missing child;

(e) not later than 48 hours after assuming the care, control, and temporary protective custody of the newborn, file a petition with the court under the provisions of Title 41, chapter 3, part 4, requesting appropriate relief with the goal of achieving permanent placement for the newborn at the earliest possible date; and

(f) within 30 days, make reasonable efforts to identify and locate a parent who did not surrender the newborn. If the identity and address of that parent are unknown, the department shall provide notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the newborn was surrendered.

(2) The department, after assuming the care, custody, and control of a newborn under subsection (1), is not required to attempt to reunify the newborn with the newborn's parents. The department is not required to search for relatives of the newborn as a placement or permanency option or to implement other placement requirements that give preference to relatives if the department does not have information as to the identity of the newborn or either of the newborn's parents. The department shall place the newborn with prospective adoptive parents as soon as possible. The adoptive parents must be allowed access to information regarding the newborn's medical history, date of birth, or age if the department has that information.

(3) A newborn surrendered under 40-6-405 is presumed to have been born in Montana unless the biological parent otherwise informs the department or the emergency services provider to whom the newborn is surrendered.

(4) A Montana birth certificate may be issued based on the presumption of birth in Montana as provided in subsection (3). A birth certificate issued to a newborn surrendered under 40-6-405 must provide a date of birth based on either the actual date of birth, if known, or on the date of birth determined by the physician who performs the medical examination of the newborn under 40-6-406.

History: En. Sec. 7, Ch. 277, L. 2001.

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