A 1-day old African American girl was safely surrendered on January 22 at a hospital in Torrance. The first safe surrender was of a 2-day old Asian girl at a hospital in Culver City on January 4.
"Thanks to the Safe Surrender program, these baby girls have a second chance at life," said Los Angeles County Supervisor and First 5 LA Chairman Don Knabe. "What could have been a tragic situation is instead a decision that allows these girls the chance to be part of a loving family. As word continues to spread about the program, others in similar situations can make the right choice for their babies and themselves, because of Safe Surrender."
As is standard practice, the newborns are put in protective custody and will be placed with families approved for adoption by the Department of Children and Family Services.
This is the 115th Safe Surrender since the program began 13 years ago. The program was initiated by Supervisor Knabe and approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in 2001. It allows someone to anonymously surrender an infant who is no more than 3 days old, as long as the infant shows no signs of abuse. Surrenders can take place at any fire station or hospital in L.A. County.
As an agency charged with advocating for the health and safety of L.A. County's youngest children from birth to age 5, First 5 LA believes the Safe Surrender program 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 L.A. 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 babysafela.org. You may also call the statewide toll-free number at 877-BABY-SAFE (877-222-9723).