(a) For purposes of this chapter, the court may find abandonment of a child if a parent or guardian has shown a conscious disregard of parental responsibilities toward the child by failing to provide reasonable support, maintain regular contact, or provide normal supervision, considering the child’s age and need for care by an adult. Abandonment of a child also includes instances when the parent or guardian, without justifiable cause,
Terms Used In Alaska Statutes 47.10.013
- action: includes any matter or proceeding in a court, civil or criminal. See Alaska Statutes 01.10.060
- Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
- care: means to provide for the physical, mental, and social needs of the child. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
- child: means a person who is
(A) under 18 years of age. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
- court: means the superior court of the state. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
- department: means the Department of Health and Social Services. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
- domestic violence: has the meaning given in AS 18. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
- guardian: means a natural person who is legally appointed guardian of the child by the court. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
- infant: means a child who is less than 21 days of age. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
- parent: means the biological or adoptive parent of the child. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
- person: includes a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association, organization, business trust, or society, as well as a natural person. See Alaska Statutes 01.10.060
- support: has the meaning given in AS 11. See Alaska Statutes 47.10.990
(1) left the child with another person without provision for the child’s support and without meaningful communication with the child for a period of three months;
(2) has made only minimal efforts to support and communicate with the child;
(3) failed for a period of at least six months to maintain regular visitation with the child;
(4) failed to participate in a suitable plan or program designed to reunite the parent or guardian with the child;
(5) left the child without affording means of identifying the child and the child’s parent or guardian;
(6) was absent from the home for a period of time that created a substantial risk of serious harm to a child left in the home;
(7) failed to respond to notice of child protective proceedings; or
(8) was unwilling to provide care, support, or supervision for the child.
(b) For purposes of (a) of this section, a parent or guardian who is a victim of domestic violence, or who has a child in the parent’s or guardian’s care who is the victim of domestic violence, is considered to have justifiable cause to take an action or to fail to take an action that would otherwise be considered to be abandonment of a child under (a) of this section if the action or failure to act is necessary to protect the parent or guardian, or a child in the care of the parent or guardian, from further acts of domestic violence. However, a parent or guardian who initially had justifiable cause to act or fail to act as described in this subsection may be considered to have abandoned the child without justifiable cause for purposes of (a) of this section if the parent or guardian does not take reasonable steps to reunify with or provide care for the abandoned child after becoming secure from further acts of domestic violence or after providing that another child in the care of the parent or guardian is secure from further acts of domestic violence.
(c) A parent who is immune from prosecution under AS 11.81.500 and chooses to surrender an infant shall surrender the infant in the manner described in this subsection. Surrendering the infant in the manner described in this subsection constitutes abandonment for purposes of this chapter. An infant’s parent is considered to have abandoned the infant safely, and, notwithstanding AS 25.20.030 and AS 47.10.120 , the parent’s legal duty to support the infant is extinguished if
(1) the parent, without expressing an intent to return for the infant, leaves the infant in the physical custody of a person who is a
(A) person the parent reasonably believes would provide for the health and safety of the infant and who would act appropriately to care for the infant;
(B) peace officer, community health aide, physician, or hospital employee; or
(C) person who is employed by or is a volunteer for a fire department or emergency medical service, if the person is acting within the scope of the person’s fire department or emergency medical service duties; and
(2) there is no evidence the infant has been physically injured before abandonment.
(d) A person to whom an infant is surrendered in the manner described in (c)(1)(B) or (C) of this section shall
(1) act appropriately to care for the infant;
(2) inform the parent that the parent may, but is not required to, answer any questions regarding the name, identity, and medical history of the infant and parents of the infant unless the parent chooses to contact the department under (3) of this subsection;
(3) ask the parent if the parent wishes to relinquish the parent’s parental rights and release the infant for adoption; if the answer is affirmative, the person shall contact the department so that the parent can discuss that option with the department;
(4) immediately notify the nearest office of the department that the infant has been surrendered in the manner described in (c) of this section.
(e) An individual, agency, facility, or entity that receives an infant abandoned safely under (c) of this section is not liable for civil damages for failure to discharge the duties listed in (d) of this section.
(f) A record regarding the surrender of an infant under (c) of this section is confidential and not subject to public inspection or copying under AS 40.25.100 § 40.25.220.