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0640.32 Abandoned Baby Procedures

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number
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640.32 Abandoned Baby Procedures


  • ORS §418.017 Safe Place for Newborns
  • ORS §163.535 Abandonment of a Child
  • DIR 640.30 Child Abuse Investigations
  • Safe Place for Newborns packet (Family Services Division)


  1. The Portland Police Bureau recognizes that under state law, a person may leave an infant at an authorized facility in the physical custody of an agent, employee, physician, or other medical professional. An individual will not face criminal penalties so long as there is no evidence of abuse present. The person leaving the newborn is not required to provide any identifying information about the newborn or parent, and may leave the facility at any time. Any of the following locations are authorized facilities: 1) Hospital; 2) Physician’s Office; 3) Birthing Clinic; 4) County Health Department; 5) Sheriff’s Office; 6) Police Station; or 7) Fire Department.


1. Member Responsibilities:

1.1. All members shall perform the following procedures:

1.1.1. Retrieve a Safe Place for Newborns packet (located at each precinct).

1.1.2. Perform all reasonable acts to ensure the health and safety of the child, including obtaining medical attention if necessary.

1.2. Members shall not attempt to identify the person surrendering the infant.

1.3. Professional staff members shall request that a sworn member to respond to the location. If the person(s) chooses to leave prior to the arrival of a sworn member, staff members should:

1.3.1. Try to give the person(s) a Safe Place for Newborns packet, which also contains the Letter for Parents and Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Welfare Offices phone lists.

1.3.2. Ask the person(s) to fill out a voluntary health questionnaire about the infant. This may be done at the authorized facility or the person may take it with them and return it in the self-addressed stamped envelope included in the packet.

1.4. Responding sworn members shall follow procedures listed in 1.1. and 1.2., as well as the following:

1.4.1. Contact the DHS Hotline and investigate the incident as a case of child abuse if a child appears to be older than 30 days or has visible signs of abuse present.

1.4.2. Notify the on-call Child Abuse Team Supervisor via the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) if abuse is suspected. Follow the procedures outlined in Directive 640.30, Child Abuse Investigations, and detain individuals, if present.

1.5. Sworn member follow-up responsibilities:

1.5.1. Notify a supervisor and the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the incident.

1.5.2. Complete the Drop-off Report Form included in the Safe Place for Newborns packet.

1.5.3. Release the newborn to DHS, unless medical care is needed.

1.5.4. Provide DHS with any pertinent information or materials regarding the child.

1.5.5. Document the protective custody and specifics of the incident in a General Offense/Arrest Booking Report.


  • Originating Directive Effective:09/06/01
  • First Revision Effective:09/12/08
  • Second Revision Effective: 11/29/16
  • Next Review Date: 11/29/18
  • Review By: Family Services Division

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