Families, firefighters and hospital staff joined Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe at Grand Park yesterday evening for a ceremonial candle lighting to honor the 100 newborns who were given a chance at a happy and healthy life thanks to the Safe Surrender program.
“In 2001, the Safe Surrender program began in Los Angeles County. Eleven years later, I am so proud that 100 infants have been saved and new families have been created,” said Supervisor Knabe. “While it is difficult to ‘celebrate’ a baby being 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.”
During the ceremony at downtown’s Grand Park, Supervisor Knabe and Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby invited families who have adopted safely surrendered babies and others who had a first-hand role in the program to light a candle in honor of the 100 infants safely surrendered in Los Angeles County. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Grand Park fountain was illuminated in blue light to build awareness of the Safe Surrender program.
“This year alone, 11 newborns have been given a second chance at life and hope for a bright future because of the Safe Surrender program,” said Supervisor Knabe. “As word spreads about the program, mothers in desperate situations can make the right choice for their babies because of Safe Surrender.”
As a way to increase awareness of the Safe Surrender program, Supervisor Knabe encouraged county residents to light a candle at home and post a photo of it to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #100LivesSaved. Residents are also encouraged to follow Safe Surrender on Twitter @SurrenderSafe and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SafeSurrender.
Established in 2001, the Safe Surrender program allows a parent or legal guardian to confidentially hand over 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 November 28, 100 newborns have been safely surrendered.
To learn more about the Safe Surrender program, visit http://youtu.be/_EGoPXD23G0.