Surrender a Baby
Every baby should start life safely. All Ventura County Fire Department stations have been designated as Safe Havens for surrendered babies.
The Safely Surrendered Baby Law allows a person to surrender a baby less than 72 hours old at a Ventura County fire station without fear of arrest or prosecution, provided the infant has not been abused or neglected. The intent of this law is to encourage custodial parents who might otherwise abandon their baby in unsafe environments or conditions to relinquish their newborn where the baby will receive proper care.
Healthy babies may be surrendered anonymously, but the infant must be received at a Safe Haven site. The law does not apply if an infant is left unattended. This is considered child abandonment and is punishable by law.
When a baby is safely surrendered at a fire station, a confidential, coded ankle bracelet will be placed on the infant. The surrendering parent will be given a medical questionnaire and a bracelet matching the baby’s ankle bracelet. The questionnaire is voluntary and is designed to collect medical information critical to the health and survival of the newborn, not the baby’s identity. The confidential bracelets allow a surrendering parent to reclaim the baby within 14 days, provided there has been no abuse or neglect.