Safely Surrendered Baby

BabySafe logo

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.

Free Safe Surrender Kits

Safe surrender sites are hospitals or other locations, typically fire stations, approved by the board of supervisors or fire agency in each county.  To request Safely Surrendered Baby Kits, please complete the order form, Safely Surrendered Baby Kit Order Form. For more information please email ssb@dss.ca.gov.

Optional Medical Questionnaire: English Russian | Chinese | Spanish

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

Free Safe Surrender Publications

The Office of Child Abuse Prevention would like to share our education and awareness materials regarding the Safely Surrender Baby program. If you would like to request copies, please visit the Safe Surrender Publication page and fill out the order form.

Other Resources