• Child abandonment falls under states' statutes regarding child abuse and neglect. Overall, a child is thought to be abandoned when the parent's identity or location are undetermined, the child has been placed in an unsafe situation or the parent has not provided or been in care of the child for an allotted amount of time.

    Local County Agencies

    In Minnesota, child abandonment is determined by local county agencies under the state's stipulations of child abuse and neglect. The agency will also address whether the termination of parental rights is called for.

    Determination of Abandonment

    In Minnesota, a child is considered abandoned when it is clear protection is needed because the child does not have a legal guardian, according to Child Welfare Information Gateway.


    Recommended Minnesota Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines claim child abandonment is determined when a legal guardian has not been in the child's life for six months. During those six months, the parent has not provided any financial support or emotional care for the child in their absence. Also, it must be noted social services did make attempts to locate the parent and assist in bringing the family back together.

    Another Definition

    Section 260C.301, 2009 Minnesota Statutes asserts that an infant is abandoned if a parent leaves the child without leaving any signs that he will ever come to reclaim the baby that is no older than 2 years old.

    Infant Safe Havens

    Minnesota is one of four states that allows only the mother to relinquish her infant at one of the designated "safe havens," according to Child Welfare Information Gateway. The purpose of "safe havens" is to allow mothers in crisis situations to be able to place their babies at a safe designated area, where they will be cared for until they can be placed with a stable family.


    Minnesota Statutes

    Child Welfare: Information Gateway

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