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Safely Surrendered Baby Program

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There is an Option. Don’t Abandon Your Baby.

To prevent the abandonment of children in unsafe locations that may result in their injury or death, the State of California passed a law (signed into state law in 2006), which allows parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender their infant within 72 hours of birth at any hospital emergency room or selected fire station, with no questions asked. The law’s intent is to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment.

Safe Surrender Sites

All six fire stations in the City of Vista are Safe Surrender sites. The County of San Diego lists all of the fire stations in the County that are designated Safe Surrender Sites.

How to Drop Off the Baby

A distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for an infant can legally, confidentially, and safely surrender the baby within three days of birth. All that is required is that the parent brings the baby to a hospital emergency room or selected fire station (any Vista station) and physically surrenders the infant to a staff member.

The baby and parent will be given matching bracelets to help connect them in the event the parent wants the baby back. The law allows for at least a 14-day period where the person who surrendered the child can return to the hospital to reclaim the child. The baby will be examined and provided with medical treatment, if needed, then placed in a foster or pre-adoptive home.

State and County Information