HESPERIA, Calif. – The Safe Surrender program was created to save the lives of newborn babies and give the new mother options in the State of California.
On Monday evening at around 8:40 p.m. a young mother who just given birth to twins arrived to the San Bernardino County Fire Station, located at 17288 Olive Street in the City of Hesperia. The mother told the firefighters that she wanted to leave the babies at the station under the safe-surrender program. The Fire Captain and fire crew took possession of the newborns and were checked for any immediate medical needs. Fire officials said that the babies were well cared for, cleaned up, fed and in good medical condition.
The newborn twins were transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. The mother refused medical care. In addition, she was provided with information and instructions on how to reclaim her children in the event she wished to do so in accordance with the safe-surrender state law. “This is exactly why the Safe Surrender program was created,” said Fire Chief Mark Hartwig. “This young mother did the right thing by bringing her babies to the fire station. Regardless of your circumstances, the Safe Surrender program is a viable and loving option – no questions asked.”
The Safe-Haven Law was signed by Governor Davis in September 2000 and went into effect on January 1, 2001. The law created to protect babies from being abandoned or intentionally or unintentionally killed by a mother who was unable or unwilling to care for the baby. This law also gave these mothers the opportunity to, within 72 hours, surrender the infants to a designated safe-surrender site without prosecution. The person surrendering the child will have 14 days to change their mind and reclaim the baby under the law.
“On August 24, 2004, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution designating San Bernardino County fire stations as Safe Haven sites,” San Bernardino County Fire official said. “Since this time, San Bernardino County Fire Protection District fire stations are equipped as Safe-Surrender sites. Fire stations that are not staffed full-time are not considered a Safe-Surrender site; however, these stations have a phone located outside the station that will connect directly to the dispatch center. Safe-Surrender signs are displayed at all surrender locations.” To date over 930 lives have been potentially saved by the Safe Surrender Program.
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