Safely Surrendered Baby
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, 2017, 931 newborns have been surrendered in California, and 88 newborns were surrendered during the 2017 calendar year. This is compared with 175 infants abandoned since 2001, one of which occurred in the 2017 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 email@example.com.
Optional Medical Questionnaire: English | Russian | Chinese | Spanish
Procedures for Accepting a Newborn
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 Surrendered Baby program. If you would like to request copies, please visit the Safe Surrender Publication page and fill out the order form.
The Office of Child Abuse Prevention provides signage to approved Safely Surrendered Baby sites. To request signage, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your site name, mailing address and number of signs needed (maximum 2 signs per location).