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Safe Surrender Baby Law

The Safely Surrendered Baby Law responds to the increasing number of newborn infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe locations. First created in January 2001, the Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed permanently into state law in January 2006. The law's intent is to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment by encouraging parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender the infant within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked.

From January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2015, 770 newborns have been surrendered in California, and 84 newborns were surrendered during the 2015 calendar year. This is compared with 169 infants abandoned since 2001, five of which occurred in the 2015 calendar year. The Department is currently working to improve data gathering and statistics for abandoned infants in order monitor the effectiveness of the Safely Surrendered Baby Law in preventing infant abandonment

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