The 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.
The OCAP now offers Safely Surrendered Baby Kits for designated fire stations free of charge.
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.
The toll-free telephone hotline number provides information and the locations of safe surrender sites DIAL 1.877.BABY.SAF (1-877-222-9723)
- Start an SSB Site
- SSB Publications
- SSB Legislation
- SSB County Letters
- SSB Data
- SSB Methodology
For more information on the Safely Surrendered Baby Law, please call The Office of Child Abuse Prevention at (916) 651-6960 or email OCAP@dss.ca.gov.
For media inquiries, please call the Office of Public Affairs at (916) 657-2268.
To order Safely Surrendered Baby posters and brochures, please visit SSB Publications.