Young mother safely surrenders hour-old baby girl to fire station

Credit: iStock/SeventyFour

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- A 21-year-old woman safely surrendered her newborn to a fire station in Pico-Union on Tuesday evening, Los Angeles fire officials said.

The woman brought the baby to Fire Station 13, located at 2401 W. Pico Boulevard, shortly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department alert.

She came up to the apparatus door and banged on it. Someone who heard the noise opened the door and discovered the young mother with an approximately 2-hour-old baby girl, LAFD spokesman David Ortiz told KTLA on Wednesday.

A patient assessment was performed on the infant, who was found to be in good health. The baby was then taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

After that, she will be placed in the custody of child protective services and possibly be put up for adoption, according to Ortiz.

“Hopefully this child will have a healthy upbringing,” he said.

Under California’s Safely Surrendered Baby Law — which was created in 2001 and signed permanently into law five years later — parents can safely surrender their babies within 72 hours of birth.

The purpose of the law is to save the lives of children who may be at risk for abandonment.

Parents can give up their newborns at any L.A. County fire station, no questions asked, according to LAFD.

Fire stations are typically safe surrender sites, as are hospitals.

“We are very happy with this law that allows young mother without many options to be able to surrender their child, and not abandon their child on the street or in a trash bin,” Ortiz said.

More than 930 infants were surrendered between Jan. 1, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2017, according to the California Department of Social Services.

“Available data indicates a generally decreasing trend of abandonments since enactment of the SSB Law, from 25 cases in 2002 to five or less cases per year since 2010, representing a decrease of at least 80%,” the department’s website states.

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