Mother Surrenders Newborn At Fire Station

Battalion Chief: Woman Heartbroken, But Calm And Cooperative

A newborn is in safe hands Monday morning after being surrendered by his mother at a fire station in Oceanside, authorities said.

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A woman in her mid- to late 20s legally surrendered her newborn son at fire station on North River Road in the northeastern portion of the city Sunday afternoon, according to OFD Battalion Chief Pete Lawrence.

It was just before 4 p.m. when a crew was returning to the station from a call when the woman approached them and said she wanted to give her baby up for adoption, Lawrence said in a statement.

"The mother appeared heartbroken over the decision but was very calm and cooperative," he said, noting she had just recently given birth.

Firefighters checked over the infant and found him to be healthy and well cared for, then medics transported him to a hospital for a more thorough exam. Lawrence said the mother declined to be checked out.

Eighteen months ago, another infant was surrendered at the same fire station.

Under a countywide program dubbed "Safe Surrender," newborns up to 72 hours old can be dropped off at fire stations and other designed locations without fear of prosecution.

The law also allows parents to change their minds and return for the baby within 14 days. The program is designed to give desperate parents an alternative to abandoning or harming their babies.

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