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Safely Surrendered Baby Program
updated: Apr 02, 2013, 4:14 PM

Source: Santa Barbara Fire Department

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each can play an important part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in communities.

The Safely Surrendered Baby law allows a mother or person with lawful custody to bring an unwanted baby three days old or younger to any hospital or fire station in Santa Barbara County without fear of prosecution for child abandonment.

On January 1, 2001 California became one of a dozen states to enact a new law that is intended to provide for the health and safety of unwanted newborn children. The "Safe Arms for Newborns" law (Senate Bill 1368) states that "no parent or other person who has lawful custody of a minor child 72 hours old or younger may be prosecuted for child abandonment if he or she voluntarily surrenders physical custody of the child to a designated employee at a public or private hospital emergency room or other location designated by the county board of supervisors."

On July 29, 2011, the Safely Surrendered Baby Program was expanded to include all fire stations in the Santa Barbara County Operational Area (Santa Barbara City FD, Montecito FD, Santa Maria FD, Lompoc FD, Guadalupe FD, Carpinteria - Summerland FD, and Santa Barbara County Fire Department) in addition to all hospitals within Santa Barbara County.


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