State Auditor Says Safe Surrender Law Needs Oversight

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, May 5, 2008

The State Auditor’s report says there’s no clear agency to administer the safe surrender program. Democratic Assemblyman Alberto Torrico says he will push legislation that would assign the Department of Social Services to the job. 

He already has a bill that would extend the time that parents can surrender a child.  His measure would allow infants up to seven days old to be turned over to a hospital or fire station.  He says he’ll also find money to promote the program. 

 “I’ve committed to raise funds privately to have a public awareness campaign in multiple languages all over the state including an 800 number.” 

Spokeswoman Shirley Washington says the State Department of Social Services welcomes the audit findings.

Governor Schwarzenegger has in the past vetoed measures that would extend the time to surrender newborns.  He’s raised concerns over keeping infants in an unsafe environment.