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Sixth newborn turned over this year under Safe Surrender program

September 20, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe holds a Safe Surrender sign. Knabe initiated the program in 2001.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe holds a Safe Surrender sign. Knabe… (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles…)

L.A. County officials on Friday announced that a newborn boy was turned over at a hospital in Van Nuys last week under the Safe Surrender program.

The newborn marked the sixth time this year that a baby has been surrendered and the 109th child since the program began 12 years ago, according to the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.

The surrender comes ahead of a new public awareness campaign for the Safe Surrender program scheduled to begin next week.

The campaign will expand the program's outreach by launching in multiple languages, while collaborating with community-based organizations and relying on a mix of traditional and grass-roots awareness efforts, Knabe announced.

"Recent events, such as the discovery of an abandoned baby in South El Monte and the subsequent Safe Surrenders of two newborns, are a reminder to us that we have much more work to do," Knabe said.

A dead baby boy was discovered in South El Monte earlier this year in a trash bin after doctors at a local hospital reported that a woman had walked in bleeding profusely, then broke down and said she had just given birth and discarded the newborn in front of her apartment.

The baby boy surrendered last week is now in protective custody and will be placed with a family approved by the county Department of Children and Family Services. The identity of the mother and circumstances of the surrender were not disclosed.


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