Safe Sur­ren­dered pro­gram aims to stop baby tragedies

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By John Bays NEWS-SEN­TINEL STAFF WRITER

Af­ter a baby was found alive in a Stock­ton dump­ster on Tues­day, the San Joaquin County Ad­min­is­tra­tor’s Of­fice is­sued a press re­lease on Wed­nes­day re­mind­ing res­i­dents about the Safe Sur­ren­dered Baby Pro­gram.

Ac­cord­ing to a Tues­day ar­ti­cle in the Stock­ton Record, two men found the baby in a dump­ster at an apart­ment com­plex on the 5900 block of Vil­lage Green Drive in north Stock­ton.

Al­though Tues­day tem­per­a­tures reached the triple dig­its, the baby is re­port­edly healthy and in the care of Child Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices.

Cal­i­for­nia cre­ated the Safely Sur­ren­dered Baby Pro­gram in 2006 in re­sponse to an in­crease in in­fant deaths due to aban­don­ment in un­safe lo­ca­tions. The pro­gram does the fol­low­ing:

• Al­lows the parent(s) or other per­son with le­gal cus­tody to safely and con­fi­den­tially sur­ren­der a baby

• Pro­vides a safe place for ba­bies

• Pro­tects the parent(s) or other per­son with le­gal cus­tody from pros­e­cu­tion for child aban­don­ment

• Does not re­quire that names be given when the baby is sur­ren­dered

• Al­lows the parent(s) or other per­son with le­gal cus­tody 14 days to change their mind

When a baby is taken to a hos­pi­tal or other safe sur­ren­der site (usu­ally fire stations), an em­ployee gives the parent or guardian and the baby match­ing iden­ti­fi­ca­tion bracelets in case the parent or guardian changes their mind.

For a list of des­ig­nated safe sur­ren­der sites, visit www.sjchsa.org/As­sis­tance/C hil­drens-Ser­vices/Safe-Sites.

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