(a) The Legislature makes the following findings and declarations:
(1) The theft of newborn babies from hospitals is a serious societal problem that must be addressed.
(2) There is no statutory requirement that hospitals offering maternity services establish policies and procedures that protect newborns and their parents from physical harm and emotional distress resulting from baby thefts.
(3) Societal change has popularized a more open and natural birthing process, which, unfortunately, increases the risk of thefts of newborns from hospitals and other health facilities offering maternity services.
(4) Baby thefts detrimentally affect the emotional and physical health of newborns and their families.
(5) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to take reasonable steps toward reducing baby thefts.
(b) On or before July 1, 1991, the state department shall adopt regulations requiring any hospital or other health facility offering maternity services to establish written policies and procedures designed to promote the protection of babies and the reduction of baby thefts from hospitals or other health facilities offering maternity services. Those hospitals and facilities shall establish the policies and procedures no later than 60 days after the regulations become effective.
(c) The state department shall review the policies and procedures established by the hospitals and other health facilities, as required by subdivision (b), to determine compliance with the regulations adopted by the state department, pursuant to subdivision (b).
(d) Hospitals and other health facilities offering maternity services shall periodically review their policies and procedures established pursuant to this section. The review need not occur more frequently than every two years.
(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 768, Sec. 1.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018