Safely Surrendered Baby Program

The Safely Surrendered Baby Program includes all fire stations in the Santa Barbara County Operational Area (Santa Barbara City Fire Department, Montecito Fire Department, Santa Maria Fire Department, Lompoc Fire Department, Guadalupe Fire Department, Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department, and Santa Barbara County Fire Department) in addition to all hospitals within Santa Barbara County.

On January 1, 2001, California became one of a dozen states to enact a new law that is intended to provide for the health and safety of unwanted newborn children. The “Safe Arms for Newborns” law (Senate Bill 1368) states that “no parent or other person who has lawful custody of a minor child 72 hours old or younger may be prosecuted for child abandonment if he or she voluntarily surrenders physical custody of the child to a designated employee at a public or private hospital emergency room or other location designated by the county board of supervisors.” In an effort to disseminate information regarding this important legislation, the California Department of Social Services selected the campaign used by the State of New Jersey called “No Shame, No Blame, No Names,” and developed outreach materials to convey this message including posters, brochures, and public service announcements.

The Safely Surrendered Baby law allows a mother or person with lawful custody to bring an unwanted baby three days old or younger to any hospital or fire station in Santa Barbara County, without fear of prosecution for child abandonment.