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San Luis Obispo County, California

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 > County of San Luis Obispo > Social Services > How to Safely Surrender a Baby

How to Safely Surrender a Baby

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Are you a new mother who is unable or unwilling to care for your newborn baby?
Now there's a way to safely surrender your baby.

Under the Safely Surrendered Baby law you can safely surrender your baby within 72 hours of birth. This law was enacted to spare the life of your infant by encouraging you, the parent or person with lawful custody, to safely surrender your infant at a "safe surrender site" within 72 hours of your child's birth rather than abandoning your baby in an unsafe location. Under this law you can safely surrender your baby and be protected from prosecution for child abandonment.

The California Safely Surrendered Baby Law:

  • Permits you or the surrendering person to safely and confidentially surrender a baby within 3 days of birth
  • Provides a safe place for babies
  • Protects you or the surrendering person from prosecution for child abandonment
  • Does not require that names be given when the baby is surrendered
  • Allows you or the surrendering person at least 14 days to reclaim the baby
  • Allows you or the surrendering person to give the baby, who must be less than four days old, to an on-duty employee at a hospital or safe surrender site in California
  • Places a confidentially coded ID bracelet on the baby’s ankle and gives a matching bracelet to you or the surrendering person
  • Allows you to go free without any questions asked once you or the surrendering person receive the bracelet
  • Gives you or the surrendering person 14 days to bring your coded bracelet to the safe surrender site should you decide to reclaim your baby

Safe Surrender Sites Hotline

For Safe Surrender Site locations throughout California call:
(1-877-BABYSAF) or (1-877-222-9723)

More Information

Get more information about this program from brochure Pub 400

Find some answers at Safely Surrendered Baby Campaign Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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