Breaking News
More () »

5 things to know about California's 'Safely Surrender Baby' law

Everything you need to know about California's "safe surrender" laws.

(Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. We’ve updated it because of the infant found in a Stockton dumpster on June 11, 2019.)

A newborn was found alive, wrapped up inside of a dumpster in Stockton Tuesday morning, according to Stockton Police. The baby was taken to the hospital where it is doing well. The infant's teenage mother was later located, according to investigators.

Under California law, parents or guardians are legally allowed to abandon a baby within 72 hours of its birth by leaving it at a safe surrender site. 

Here is what you need to know about the Safely Surrender Baby law (SSB). 

1. When the law was created

It was created in January 2001 and signed into law in January 2006.

2. Background of the law

SSB was created in response to the number of infant deaths from "abandonment in unsafe locations." The program started in hopes to save lives due to risks of infants.

The law states that an infant can be safely surrendered voluntarily, by a parent or person with lawful custody, within 72 hours of the birth.

3. Statistics on newborns surrendered

About 931 newborns have been safely surrendered between January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2017, according to data by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

Within that same time frame, 33 infants were reclaimed, 175 infants were abandoned, 73 survived abandonment and 103 abandoned babies died. 

CDSS states there is a discrepancy for the 2014 year.  

Credit: Department of Social Services
Department of Social Services

4. Safe surrender sites

Sites usually include county hospitals and fire stations, approved by the Board of Supervisors, and other various locations.

5. Contact Information

Call 1-877-BABY-SAF (1-877-222-9723).

The hotline number above provides helpful information, including locations of safe surrender sites in your county.

Also, you can call the Office of Child Abuse Prevention at (916) 651-6960 for information regarding SBB Law.

WATCH ALSO: CHP officer in the right place at the right time to revive baby born on I-5

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out