Safely Surrendered Baby Law

About the Law

A parent who is unable or unwilling to care for a newborn can surrender the infant within 72 hours of birth without fear of being prosecuted, as long as the baby shows no signs of abuse or neglect. Persons who abandon an infant in any way other than those described above are not covered by this law.

Every baby deserves a chance for a healthy life. If someone you know is considering abandoning a newborn, let them know there are options.


The purpose of the law is to provide a safe place for the newborn when a parent feels he or she cannot handle the responsibility.

How to Surrender

There are three ways in which this can occur.

  1. The baby can be handed over to an on-duty firefighter at the fire station
  2. The baby can be handed over to any hospital emergency room employee within Santa Clara County
  3. The parent can call 911 and a fire engine will be dispatched to their location

If You Change Your Mind

Parents who change their minds can begin the process of reclaiming their infant within 14 days.