Safe Surrender Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Families, firefighters, hospital staff and social workers joined Supervisor Don Knabe today at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration to recognize the 10th anniversary of the Safe Surrender program.

“I am overwhelmed and thrilled that we could honor this special day,” said Supervisor Knabe. “While it is difficult to ‘celebrate’ a baby be given up, when we consider what the alternative could have been, we recognize the courage it took for a mother, who found herself in a desperate situation, to make a better choice for her child.“

Families who have adopted safely surrendered babies, along with firefighters, hospital staff and social workers who have had a first-hand role in a Safe Surrender, were recognized by Supervisor Knabe for making the program a reality.

“The true heroes of Safe Surrender are the people who volunteer to become parents to the infants who have been surrendered,” said Knabe. “Families come in all shapes and sizes and if a child is born and raised in a home that is loving and nurturing, there is no better nest from which they can fly.”

During the anniversary event, Supervisor Knabe made a surprise announcement that the First5 LA Commission approved $500,000 to update, reinvigorate and increase the Safe Surrender program’s outreach efforts.

“As an agency charged with advocating for the health and safety of this county’s youngest children, I am very pleased that the First 5 LA Commission approved $500,000 to be used to implement a new county-wide public education campaign,” said Evelyn V. Martinez, chief executive officer of First 5 LA.  “It is crucial that we continue to keep the Safe Surrender Program in the spotlight, so parents know they have options.”

Established 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, fire station or other designated Safe Surrender site, as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected. As of September 2011, 87 newborns have been safely surrendered.