Safely Surrendered Baby Law
Allows you to give up your baby
It’s safe. It’s legal. And, no one needs to know.
Where are Safe Haven Sites in Riverside County?
Most fire stations in Riverside County are Safe Haven Sites. Check the station page for specific station information.
What is the Safely Surrendered Baby Law?
Under this law, a person may surrender their baby confidentially without fear of arrest or prosecution for abandonment. For more information, click here.
How does it work?
A distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for an infant can legally, confidentially and safely surrender their baby within 3 days of birth.
All that is required is that the baby be brought to any designated fire station or emergency room. A bracelet will be placed on the baby for identification. A matching bracelet will be given to the parent. The bracelet will help connect the parent to the baby if the parent wants the baby back.
Can only a parent bring in the baby?
In most cases, a parent will bring in the baby. The law allows another person to bring in the baby if they have lawful custody.
Does the parent have to call before bringing in the baby?
No. A parent can bring in a baby anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Does a parent have to tell anything to the people taking the baby?
No. Nothing is required. However, firefighters will give the parent a medical information questionnaire that is designed to gather family medical history. This could be very useful in caring for the child but it is up to the parent to complete it.
What happens to the baby?
The baby will be examined and given medical treatment, if needed. Then the baby will be placed in a foster or pre-adoptive home by the County Department of Public and Social Services (DPSS).
What happens to the parent?
Once the parent(s) has safely turned over the baby, they are free to go.
What if a parent wants the baby back?
The parent(s) may contact DPSS. Under the SSB Law, a parent has at least 14 days to claim his or her infant.
Why is California doing this?
The purpose of the Safely Surrendered Baby Law is to protect babies from being hurt or killed because they were abandoned. You may have heard tragic stories of babies left in dumpsters or public toilets. The persons who committed these acts may have been under severe emotional distress. The mothers may have hidden their pregnancies, fearful of what would happen if their families found out. Because they were afraid and had nowhere to turn for help, they abandoned their infants.
Abandoning a baby puts the child in extreme danger. It is also illegal. Too often, it results in the baby’s death. Because of the Safely Surrendered Baby Law, this tragedy doesn’t ever have to happen in California again.