Safe Surrender Program Saves Babies from Abandonment, If Mothers Know Where to Go

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Following the attempted abandonment this week of a newborn baby in Long Beach, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe is reminding residents about the County’s Safe Surrender program.

“Incidents like what occurred in Long Beach are a reminder to mothers that there is always an option for their baby,” said Supervisor Knabe. “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: No shame, No blame, and No names. I am very happy to hear that the infant is safe and has a second chance at life and hope for a bright future.” 

Established by Supervisor Knabe in 2001, the Safe Surrender program allows a parent or legal guardian to confidentially handover an infant, three days old or younger, to any hospital emergency room or fire station in Los Angeles County. As long as the baby has not been abused or neglected, the person may surrender the baby without fear of arrest or prosecution for child abandonment.

Since the program began, 90 babies have been safely surrendered in Los Angeles County, including two in 2012. The multilingual Safe Surrender Hotline, 1-877-BABY-SAFE, is available 24-hours a day for more information and the location of the nearest Safe Surrender site. Safe Surrender sites can also be found by calling the County helpline at 211 or by visiting www.babysafela.org.

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