BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — February is Safely Surrendered Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness about the Safely Surrendered Baby Law which allows mothers to legally and anonymously give up their baby no questions asked. 23ABC’s Bayne Froney talks to a family who adopted a surrendered baby and has more about how it helped make their family complete.
The Davis family is familiar with fostering and adopting, as they already had adopted two children. But that was before they met Nathan. It wasn’t until then that they realized just how grateful they were for the Safely Surrendered Baby Law.
Nathan became a part of the Davis family seven years ago when they adopted him after he had been safely surrendered.
“He has completed our family,” said Nathan's mother, Ali Davis. “They said, ‘you know, he is a safe surrender.’ And we were like ‘oh, okay’ and we thought we were done adopting but he has been a blessing in our lives.”
In 2014, Nathan was born prematurely in a Bakersfield hospital where his biological mother made the decision to safely surrender him.
“She saved this baby’s life, and in turn, we saved him for the rest,” said Ali.
Now, Nathan is in second grade. His parents, Ali, along with Anthony Davis, are now dedicated to spreading awareness about the safe surrender law which is when, according to the kern county department of human services, a parent can legally, confidentially, and safely surrender their baby within 3 days of birth at a hospital or fire station.
“Just by people being aware of this situation or being aware of this law that allows these women to make a selfless decision to do better for this baby, to make this baby have a life that is a good one,” explained Ali.
According to DHS, the law was put into effect in California in 2006 to protect babies from being hurt or killed because they were abandoned by parents who may have been unable to care for them.
The Safely Surrendered Baby Law responds to the increasing number of newborn infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe locations. First created in January 2001, the Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed permanently into state law in January 2006. The law's intent is to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment by encouraging parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender the infant within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked.
“Because they built the law in a way that allows the mom to safely surrender, she has an opportunity to think about it and change her mind but because it has been done through this process they can get the baby into a loving home quickly,” said Anthony.
Both Anthony and Ali want more people to become aware of the law as well as its benefits to hopefully help more mothers and save more babies.
“Safe surrender awareness, safe surrender law, has allowed our family to be complete. We never knew that we were incomplete until he came along,” added Ali.
In 2020, 8 babies were safely surrendered in Kern County.
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