Safely Surrender Baby Law
Fire Chief Charlie Norman, wishes to remind everyone, about the "Safely Surrender Baby Law". The “Safely Surrendered Baby Law” was enacted in January 2001 and permanently signed into law in January 2006. The law provides a safe, legal, “no questions asked”, alternative to abandonment by encouraging parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender the baby anonymously within 72 hours at a safe surrender site. The law establishes safe surrender sites at hospitals or other locations, typically fire stations, approved by the board of supervisors or fire agency in each county. Safe surrender sites are required to display a special blue and white logo decal. A baby can be safely surrendered 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Find the nearest Safe Surrender Site by calling 1-877-BABYSAF (1-877-222-9723).
Though no newborns have been surrendered to any Tulare County fire station, 1,010 newborns have been safely surrendered in California between January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2019. According to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), since the enactment of the law there has been a downward trend of infant abandonments by approximately 80%. The number of abandoned infants has dropped from approximately 25 cases in 2002 to 5 or fewer cases in 2010.
How does it work?
The baby is taken to a safe surrender site. The parent or person with lawful custody of the baby will state that they would like to safely surrender the baby. The employee will give them and the baby matching ID bracelets to help them reconnect with the baby should they change their mind. They will be provided with an optional medical questionnaire to help keep the baby safe and healthy. Then they are free to go.
Additional information can be found about the Safely Surrendered Baby Law at the following web site https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/safely-surrendered-baby.