California Firehouse Safe Haven for Infant Left on Porch

When Antioch firefighters answered a knock at their station door earlier this week, they saw a woman walking away and found a tiny surprise waiting on the porch.

Health services officials are calling it a "miracle" -- another infant left in good condition under the state's "Safe Haven" law.

The newborn girl was found just after 7 a.m. Wednesday at Station 81 on 10th Street. She was wrapped in a bed comforter, said Danna Fabella, director of Child Protection Services.

The infant appeared to be fine but was taken to Sutter Delta Medical Center for routine tests, a Contra Costa fire dispatcher said.

"It's a courageous thing to do," said Lynn Yaney, spokeswoman for Contra Costa Health Services. "This mom wanted one thing -- for her baby to be safe. That is what this whole program is about."

Protection services will place the baby in a licensed foster home when she is released from the hospital. It is common for children in cases such as this to be placed in a permanent home, Fabella said.

"That is one of the good things," she said. "If for whatever reason, someone can't care for their child, we have people who want to and will."

The Safely Surrendered Baby law allows a parent to drop their newborn off up to 72 hours after birth. No questions are asked, and the parents do not face consequences as long as the baby is in good health.

There is a two-week "cooling off" period where the parents can work with protective services to get their infant back.

Since the program's creation in 2001, 98 newborns have been safely recovered. There have been four in Contra Costa County, Fabella said.

To learn more about the program in Contra Costa County, visit www.CCHealth.org/Topics/BabySafe. The crisis hotline number is 1-800-833-2900.

Distributed by the Associated Press

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