A distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for a baby can legally, confidentially and safely give up a baby within three days of birth under the Safely Surrendered Baby Law which allows parents to drop off their baby at any County fire station, including the Escalon Fire District , 7 days a week, 24 hours a day without fear of prosecution.
California’s Safely Surrendered Baby Law allows parents to give up their baby confidentially without fear of arrest or prosecution as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected. No name or other information is required.
Infants must be safely surrendered to a person at our station. If no one is at the our station at 1749 Coley Ave. in downtown Escalon the person leaving the child must use the emergency telephone to notify us and wait for the arrival of a fireman to pick up the infant. It is not legal to simply drop an infant off outside a the station. Our staff will not question the person, other than to ask if they wish to provide a medical history for the child.
The purpose of the Safely Surrender Baby Law is to protect babies from being abandoned by their parents and potentially being hurt or killed. Abandoning the child is dangerous, illegal and could tragically result in the baby’s death.
In most cases the parent can bring the baby in, however, the law allows other people to do so if they have legal custody. Once the parent(s) has safely turned over the baby, they are free to go. Parents who change their minds later can begin the process of reclaiming their newborns within 14 days.
What is the Safely Surrendered Baby Law?
The Safely Surrendered Baby Law allows a parent or person with lawful custody to surrender a baby confidentially, without fear of arrest or prosecution for child abandonment at any hospital emergency room or fire stations. This law allows for at least a 14-day cooling off period, which begins the day the child is voluntarily surrendered.
How Does it Work?
A parent who is unable or unwilling to care for an infant can legally and confidentially surrender their baby within 3 days of birth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Does a Parent Have to Give Any Information to the people Taking the Baby?
No. Nothing is required. It is up to the parent if they wish to give any additional information concerning the baby's family medical history, which would be useful in caring for the child..
What Happens to the Baby?
Safely surrendered babies are given a medical exam and placed in a foster home or pre-adoptive home.
What Happens to the Parent?
Parents who safely surrender their baby may leave without fear of arrest or prosecution for child abandonment. Their identity will remain confidential and they will have the comfort of knowing their baby will remain in safe hands.
Why is California Doing This?
The purpose of the Safely Surrendered Baby Law is to protect infants from abandonment. Abandoning an infant puts the child in extreme danger and is also illegal. The new law helps prevent exposing the child to the risks of abandonment and helps protect the parent from prosecution for criminal child abandonment. Under this new law, no one ever has to abandon a child again.