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What is child abandonment?
(1) A Parent or guardian abandons a child when the parent or guardian is responsible for the care, education, or support of a child and:
(a) Deserts the child in any manner whatever with the intent to abandon the child;
(b) Leaves a child without the means or ability to obtain one or more of the basic necessities of life such as food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and medically necessary health care; or
(c) Forgoes for an extended period of time parental rights, functions, duties and obligations despite an ability to exercise such rights, duties, and obligations.
(2) Abandonment of a child by a parent may be established by conduct on the part of a parent or guardian that demonstrates a substantial lack of regard for the rights, duties, and obligations of the parent or guardian or for the health, welfare, and safety of the child. Criminal activity or incarceration of a parent or guardian does not constitute abandonment in and of themselves, but a pattern of criminal activity or repeated or long-term incarceration may constitute abandonment of a child.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031
, and chapter 26.44
RCW. WSR 02-15-098 and 02-17-045, § 388-15-011, filed 7/16/02 and 8/14/02, effective 2/10/03.]