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Law Allows Safe Surrender of Infants at Hospitals, Fire Stations

On Oct. 11, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services reported that a newborn male baby was safely surrendered at a hospital in Los Angeles.

That baby was the eighth safe surrender for 2012, and the 97th safe surrender since the law went into effect in 2001, under the leadership of Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.

First 5 LA supports the safe surrender law, which allows a parent or anyone authorized by a parent to confidentially surrender an infant within three days of birth to any hospital or fire station. The law guarantees anonymity and freedom from prosecution in these instances, if there are no signs of abuse or neglect.

As an agency charged with advocating for the health and safety of Los Angeles County's youngest children from birth to age 5, First 5 LA believes this law is essential, because so many children are given the opportunity to live.

A decision to give up a baby is a difficult one made out of desperation. However, for some parents, it's a last resort to give their innocent babies a chance to live. Because of this law, many children are given the opportunity to live, which they might not have had without this law.

It is important to let distressed parents across Los Angeles County know that they have an option if they become desperate by safely surrendering their baby as a last resort.

For more information on how you can advocate for the health and safety of at-risk newborns, please visit? www.babysafela.org/. You may also call the statewide toll-free number at 877- BABY-SAFE (877) 222-9723.

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