Following the discovery of a deceased newborn baby at a recycling facility in Hesperia earlier today, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe is reminding the public about the County’s Safe Surrender program.
“Awful tragedies like what occurred in Hesperia are a reminder to mothers that there is always an option for their baby,” said Supervisor Knabe. “The Safe Surrender program was created to give a mother, no matter what the situation, a safe, secure and anonymous way to get her child into safe hands—at any fire station or hospital, any time, in any county in California—and to protect a baby from abandonment: No shame, No blame, and No names. Though 122 lives have been saved by the Safe Surrender program, this tragedy shows we still have a lot more work to do.”
Established by Supervisor Knabe 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 or fire station in Los Angeles County. As long as the baby has not been abused or neglected, the person may surrender the baby without fear of arrest or prosecution for child abandonment.
Since the program began, 122 newborns have been safely surrendered. 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. Safe Surrender sites can also be found by calling the County helpline at 211 or by visiting www.babysafela.org.