Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe issued the following statement regarding today’s discovery of an abandoned, deceased newborn in a trash can in Redondo Beach:
Tragedies like this do not have to happen in this County and in our communities. Since 2001, we have had a successful alternative in the Safe Surrender Program, which is designed to prevent abandonments and save precious lives. It provides a way for desperate parents to safely surrender their baby without fear of prosecution. Parents or family members can safely surrender their baby at any hospital and every fire station in Los Angeles County. The babies are given medical treatment and immediately placed in a loving foster or pre-adoptive home.
There is no shame, no blame, and no names. Don’t abandon your baby. You have a confidential choice. Bring your baby to any emergency room or fire station. Get your baby into safe hands. We will take care of the rest. No questions asked. 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. Surrender sites can also be found by calling the County helpline at 211 or by visiting www.babysafela.org.
76 Safe Surrenders have occurred Safe Surrender since the program began in 2001. The last surrender occurred in Pasadena in October 2009, and a total of seven newborns were surrendered last year. The last abandoned, deceased newborn was discovered in Pomona in April 2009. A total of two abandonments were discovered in Los Angeles County in 2009, down from a high of 14 the year the program was launched.
The program was initiated by Supervisor Knabe and approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in 2001. It allows someone to surrender an infant that is no more than three days old, as long as the infant shows no signs of abuse.