Frequently Asked Questions

Click the entries below to see answers to frequently asked questions about the Baby Safe Surrender program.
Who is legally allowed to surrender the baby? [+][-]
Anyone with lawful custody can drop off a baby within the first 72 hours of birth.
Do you need to call ahead before surrendering a baby? [+][-]
No. A baby can be surrendered anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as long as the parent or guardian surrenders the child to an employee of the hospital or fire station.
What information needs to be provided? [+][-]
The person surrendering the baby will be asked to voluntarily fill out a medical history form, which is useful in caring for the child. The form can be returned later and includes a stamped return envelope. No names are required.
What happens to the baby? [+][-]
After a complete medical exam, the baby will be released and placed in a safe and loving home, and the adoption process will begin.
What happens to the parent or surrendering adult? [+][-]
Nothing. They may leave at any time after surrendering the baby.
How can a parent get their baby back? [+][-]
Parents who change their minds can begin the process of reclaiming their baby within 14 days by calling the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services at 1-800-540-4000.
Is it possible to adopt a surrendered baby? [+][-]
Families who want to adopt a safely surrendered baby must have a foster care license or certification and be approved to adopt. There are many families that want to provide loving homes for these babies. While the process may involve long waits, adopting a child can be a rewarding experience.

The requirements for adopting a child can be met through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or a local foster family agency that is also licensed as an adoption agency. DCFS can be contacted at 1-888-811-1121. Their web address is To work through an agency, please ensure that it is a contracted foster family agency with DCFS.

If parents are unsure what to do… [+][-]
You can call our toll-free hotline at 1.877.BABY SAFE (1.877.222.9723).

The hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (English, Spanish and 140 other languages are spoken.)

How can I receive materials about Baby Safe Surrender? [+][-]
There are a variety of materials, including a Baby Safe Surrender brochure, in the Campaign Materials section. If you’d like to have information mailed to you, please contact Cathy Walsh at ICAN at (626) 258-2059 or email her at [email protected].