Baby Moses Law
What is the "Baby Moses Law?"
The "Baby Moses Law" is the common name of a law authorizing a designated emergency infant care provider to take possession of a child who appears to be 60-days-old or younger from the child's parent, if the parent does not express intent to return for the child. (Texas Family Code, Chapter 262, Subchapter D. Emergency Possession of Certain Abandoned Children)
What are the Purposes of this Law?
One purpose of the law is to encourage parents who abandon their children to do so with a designated emergency infant care provider rather than at a dangerous location. The law also protects parents from criminal prosecution when they deliver an unharmed child to a designated emergency infant care provider.
How Does the Law Work?
Any parent may voluntarily deliver a child who is 60 days old or younger to a designated emergency infant care provider when the parent does not express intent to return for the child.
What Happens to a Baby Delivered to TMC's Emergency Department?
- TMC will take care of your baby's medical needs.
- The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (TDPRS) will take custody of your child.
- After the legal responsibilities are fulfilled by TDPRS, your baby will be placed with a caring family.
What Will They Ask Me?
- You may be provided with a voluntary form to fill out that is only used to provide medical information about your child. This form is NOT an attempt to try to find out who you are. This information will be put in your baby's records, and may help answer health questions in the future.
- You may be given referral and help-line information to call if you choose to speak with someone about what you have been through.
The Police Won't Be Called?
- The law states that if you leave your unharmed baby (60-days-old or younger) with a person who works at a Safe Baby hospital, fire station or with an EMT, the police will not be called and you will not be prosecuted for abandonment or neglect.
Why Only Babies Who Are 60 Days Old or Younger?
- The intent of the Baby Moses law is to provide a responsible alternative for mothers who are unable, or unwilling, to care for their child.
- The first days of a newborn's life are the most critical, and most likely to be when immediate medical attention is required.