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Safely Surrendered Baby Law

The Safely Surrendered Baby Law responds to the increasing number of newborn infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe locations. First created in January 2001, the Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed permanently into state law in January 2006. The law's intent is to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment by encouraging parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender the infant within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked.

From January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2015, 770 newborns have been surrendered in California, and 84 newborns were surrendered during the 2015 calendar year. This is compared with 169 infants abandoned since 2001, five of which occurred in the 2015 calendar year. Available data indicates a generally decreasing trend of abandonments since enactment of the SSB Law, from 25 cases in 2002 to five or less cases per year since 2010, representing a decrease of at least 80% (see the “SSB Data” tab for more detail). The CDSS continues to identify abandonment cases from various sources and will continue to report updates to this trend.

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Safely Surrendered Baby Law Fast Facts

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THERE IS AN OPTION. DON'T ABANDON YOUR BABY.

Safe surrender sites are 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 the blue and white logo to the right.

The toll-free telephone hotline number provides information and the locations of safe surrender sites. DIAL 1.877.BABY.SAF (1-877-222-9723)

Optional Medical Questionnaire

Although a person surrendering a baby under the Safely Surrendered Baby Law will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire, the form is optional and is intended solely for the purpose of collecting medical information critical to the health and survival of the child. Any information that may identify the person surrendering the baby will be removed in order to maintain that person's confidentiality.

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Contacts

To order Safely Surrendered Baby posters and brochures, please visit SSB Publications . Los Angeles County residents, please visit Los Angeles County Health Services .

For more information on the Safely Surrendered Baby Law, please contact the Child Welfare Policy and Program Development Bureau at (916) 651-6160.

For media inquiries, please call the Office of Public Affairs at (916) 657-2268.

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