Safe Surrender

In Los Angeles, there is a law to protect babies called Safe Surrender.

Safe Surrender allows mothers to give up newborns at any LA county hospital, ER, or fire station.

“The Safe Surrender program was created to give a mother, no matter what the situation, a safe, secure and anonymous way to get her child into safe hands and to protect a baby from abandonment,” Don Knabe (LA County Supervisor)

At first, I was surprised that a law had to be be created to protect these innocent newborns, but then I realized it was necessary alternative to what was happening to many newborn babies.

There were so many tragic stories on the news about babies being abandoned in dumpsters, alleys, parking lots, public bathrooms. Many eventually died because they didn’t get the care newborns need.

Safe Surrender reminds new mothers that there is help for finding a good home for their newborn.

Safe Surrender has saved 89 babies since it began in 2001.

The 1st Safe Surrender baby of 2012 was brought to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena a few days ago.

The mother gave birth to the boy at home and told paramedics she wanted to surrender the infant. The baby boy will be adopted by a family approved by the Department of Children and Family Services.


*A distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for a baby can legally, confidentially and safely give up a baby within three days of birth

*A parent can bring in a baby anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so long as the parent gives the baby to someone who works at the hospital or fire station.

*Once the parent(s) has safely turned over the baby, they are free to go.

The California Safely Surrendered Baby Law

In California, the Safely Surrendered Baby Law allows an individual to safely give up an unwanted infant with no fear of arrest or prosecution for abandonment as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected. The law does not require that names be given when  the baby is surrendered. Parents are permitted to bring a baby within 3 days of birth to any designated hospital staff or designated fire station in the County of Los Angeles. The baby  will be placed in a pre-adoptive home while the adoption process gets underway.

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