This Note discusses the conflict between the statewide safe haven law and the Ohio juvenile rules regarding procedure. It purports that to protect the rights of new mothers and retain the essential element of anonymity, Ohio’s Juvenile Rule 1(C) needs to be amended to maintain the state’s current safe haven law. Therefore, because of the statewide threat Ohio courts place on Ohio’s safe haven law, Juvenile Rule 1(C) needs to explicitly provide for an additional exception in cases of child relinquishment. Section II of this Note discusses the beginning of state safe haven legislation and what the laws are attempting to prevent. Section III provides fundamental and common characteristics of safe haven laws. Section IV closely examines the current Ohio safe haven provision. Section V analyzes the conflict between the safe haven law and state juvenile procedural provisions. Section VI argues the importance of the anonymity requirement within Ohio’s safe haven law. Section VII expands upon valid criticisms of the safe haven law. Section VIII then proposes an amendment to Juvenile Rule 1(C) to retain the right of anonymity as currently found in Ohio’s safe haven law. Finally, Section IX provides concluding remarks on the future of Ohio’s safe haven statute and its anonymity provision within the larger context of safe haven legislation throughout the country.
Note, Reforming the Safe Haven in Ohio: Protecting the Rights of Mothers Through Anonymity, 25 J.L. & Health 341 (2012)