[KHTS] – A baby boy was surrendered at a Valencia hospital on Sunday, as part of Los Angeles County’s Safe Surrender Program, according to a press release from the office of County Supervisor Don Knabe.
It was the ninth time in 2013 that a baby has been surrendered in the county.
As is standard practice, the newborn is in protective custody and will be placed with a family approved for adoption by the Department of Children and Family Services.
“Just a few months ago, we launched a new Safe Surrender outreach campaign with a message to desperate mothers that ‘there is a better choice,’” Knabe said in the release. “This mother made the better choice by safely surrendering her baby at a hospital, and now her child has a chance to be part of a loving family. As word continues to spread about the Program, other moms in similar situations can make the right choice for their babies and themselves, because of Safe Surrender. What better way to begin a new year than with the gift of life for this baby boy.”
The Safe Surrender program was unanimously approved by the board of supervisors in 2001 and has since received 113 surrendered children, including the infant on Sunday.
The program allows parents to surrender an infant that is no more than three days old and shows no signs of abuse.
The person surrendering the infant may fill out a voluntary medical history form to assist in the baby’s care. They will also be given an I.D. bracelet matching one on the baby’s ankle in case they want to reclaim the baby within 14 days of surrender.
There are Safe Surrender locations available throughout the county, at any fire station or hospital.
Specifically in the Santa Clarita Valley, this includes the following locations.
* Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, 23845 McBean Parkway
* Fire Station 73, 24875 Railroad Avenue
* Fire Station 76, 27223 Henry Mayo Drive
* Fire Station 104, 26201 Golden Valley Road
* Fire Station 107, 18239 Soledad Canyon Road
* Fire Station 111, 26829 Seco Canyon Road
* Fire Station 123, 26321 Sand Canyon Road
* Fire Station 124, 25870 Hemingway Avenue
* Fire Station 126, 26320 Citrus Street
* Fire Station 128, 28450 Whites Canyon Rd
* Fire Station 132, 29310 Sand Canyon Road
* Fire Station 149, 31770 Ridge Route Road
* Fire Station 156, 24525 Copperhill Drive
In 2002, a year after the Safe Surrender Program went into effect, 13 infants were abandoned, eight of whom died.
In 2013, only one baby died from abandonment, according to the most recent data from BabySafeLA.org.
More information about the Safe Surrender Program is available here or by calling (626) 258-2059.