Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe is proud to announce that the County’s Safe Surrender Program celebrated success for the second time this month with the report of a safely surrendered newborn baby girl. This most recent Safe Surrender occurred on Monday, March 14 at a hospital in Santa Monica. A baby girl was also safely surrendered at a hospital in Los Angeles on March 7. 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.
“I am thrilled that in the span of a week, two mothers made the better choice and gave their daughters a second chance at life by safely surrendering them at the hospital,” said Supervisor Knabe. “Thanks to the courage of these mothers, both girls now have the opportunity to grow up in a loving family.”
Despite the recent successes of the Safe Surrender program, some mothers who find themselves alone and in a desperate situation, feel like they have no options. This week, a mother who abandoned her baby near a Compton riverbed last November, was sentenced to 14 years in state prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder.
“The abandonment in Compton was a near tragedy that could have been completely avoided had the mother known she could safely surrender her baby,” said Supervisor Knabe. “It’s unconscionable to think that this mother had no one to turn to for help or guidance. These mothers often get pregnant in secret, hide their secret, and try to throw their secret away. Though we’ve been able to save the lives of 144 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.”
This is the second Safe Surrender in Los Angeles County in 2016, and the 144th since the program began 15 years ago. The program was initiated by Supervisor Knabe and approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in 2001. It allows someone to surrender an infant that is no more than three days old, as long as the infant shows no signs of abuse.
To learn more about the Safe Surrender Program, visit BabySafeLA.org.
– Submitted by Andrew Veis