SANTA MONICA—On Sunday, April 10 a newborn girl was safely surrendered at a local Santa Monica hospital, Andrew Weis, Public Relations for Supervisor Don Knabe, told Canyon News. This is the second baby to be safely surrendered in Santa Monica this year. This was the 145th safe surrender since the program’s start in 2001.
“Thanks to the courage of two mothers, who found themselves in a desperate situation, both babies now have the opportunity to grow up in a loving family,” said Supervisor Knabe of both babies that were surrendered in Santa Monica. The Safe Surrender program was initiated by Supervisor Knabe after hearing about a baby that had been abandoned in a dumpster in 2001, Veis told Canyon News, and was approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in 2001.
The Safely Surrendered Baby Law was created due to the increasing number of infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe locations, according to the Department of Social Services. With this law the parent or guardian of the infant can safely surrender the child at a hospital or fire station without repercussions if the child is under three days old and shows no signs of abuse.
“Thanks to the courage of this mother, a baby boy now has the opportunity to grow up in a loving family. Though we’ve been able to save the lives of 145 babies so far, we need to continue spreading the word that there is a safe, secure and anonymous way for mothers to get their baby into safe hands—at any fire station or hospital, any time—and protect them from abandonment—No Shame. No Blame. No Names,” said Supervisor Knabe in a statement.
“Supervisor Knabe is the champion for Safe Surrender,” said Veis. Supervisor Knabe launched a refresh of the campaign in 2013. This included new promotional items, a new website, expanding materials into multiple languages, and working with community groups to spread the word. “The purpose of the new campaign was to remind mothers, who may find themselves in a desperate situation, that there is ALWAYS a better choice for them and their baby,” said Veis.
For more information on the Safely Surrendered Baby Law visit www.babysafe.ca.gov.