Safe Surrender program celebrates 10 years

Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe praised the Safe Surrender program at a luncheon honoring those who had a hand in its inception ten years ago.

Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Jenna Saraf, 4, is one of 87 kids saved by L.A. County's Safe Surrender program. It was enacted ten years ago to give parents an option to leave their newborn infants within three days of birth at a hospital or fire station within without fear of arrest.

A Los Angeles County program that allows adults to leave newborns in safe hands, without risking arrest, celebrated 10 years Wednesday.

Without Safe Surrender, Ted Saraf from Sierra Madre said he might not have a granddaughter today. Four years ago an adult left his daughter Jenna at a hospital. Jenna's father, a L.A. County firefighter, adopted her shortly after.

Between bites of birthday cake for the program, Saraf said his family feels lucky to have Jenna in their lives.

"If you don’t want your child, someone does," he said. "Don’t just leave it in a trash bag or throw it on the street. Walk to the fire departments. Walk to the hospitals. No questions asked. Turn the child in and that child will have a happy life. Somebody wants that child.”

Saraf’s granddaughter is one of 87 children L.A. County’s Safe Surrender program has rescued. Officials hope that by sharing these success stories, the program will continue to prevent the deaths of abandoned infants.

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