SAN DIEGO—A young mother turned over her newborn boy at a South Bay fire station Monday, telling firefighters she could not care for the child.
"We got a ring at the doorbell," said Frank Fermin, a firefigher for San Diego Fire Rescue. "An EMT was the first one to make contact with her, she gave the baby up to him."
The mother, who appeared to be in her late teens or early 20s, brought the apparently healthy infant to San Diego Fire Station 30 on Coronado Avenue in Nestor about 1:15 a.m., according to fire department spokesman Maurice Luque. The fire station is a designated drop-off location under "Safe Surrender" law, Luque added.
"She said, 'I can't take care of this baby,''' Luque said."She did the right thing for the welfare and health of her baby," Luque said. "The law did work. It was designed to work this way.".
"She told the (emergency medical technician) that she had the baby alone in her home. Se went through the child birth without any type of assistance, she said, and still had the discipline and the sound mind to understand that she had to do something in the best interests of that baby," Luque said.
Medics took the newborn to Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista for an examination and general postnatal care. According to the hospital, the baby is a 10-pound boy and is in good health, Luque said.
Under California's Safe Haven Law, a parent can leave an infant within 72 hours of the baby's birth at a safe site including, a fire station or hospital. There is no risk of prosecution nor any questions asked.
Since 2001, 361 babies have been surrendered in California. Of those, around 10 came from San Diego County.
It was the first time someone in San Diego took advantage of a 10-year- old state law that allows new mothers who want to give up their children to drop them off at hospitals and fire stations with no questions asked, according to Luque. Under the statute, women have 14 days to reclaim their babies if they have a change of heart.