The Santa Maria teen known as “Maribel S.” was found guilty last week, accused of killing her newborn son.
This verdict has prompted the Police and Fire Department to remind new mothers and fathers about the Safely Surrendered Baby Law.
You may have seen these signs before – they’re posted on every fire station in town and they’re meant for new parents who don’t think they’re fit to be parents, to drop of their newborn child – no questions asked.
Santa Maria mother Kady Feliz says if the Santa Maria teen known as Maribel S. had known about the Safely Surrendered Baby Law, that baby might still be alive.
Feliz says if you’re a new mother without a support system, you’re not alone.
“Maybe someone could’ve helped her and gave her the advice to go to something like that,” mother Kady Feliz said.
“Maribel S.” was found guilty of second degree murder on Friday accused of murdering her newborn son.
“It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with a newborn at a very young age,” Feliz said.
The Santa Maria Police Department and Fire Department wants you to know that if you just gave birth and are in trouble, you do have resources.
“The whole point of the whole thing is just to make sure the parent and the child are safe,” Fire Batallion Chief Mike Barneich said.
If your newborn child is less than 72 hours old and you don’t think you’re ready to be a parent, you can bring that baby to any fire station or hospital in the city. The drop off is confidential and the parent is protected from prosecution for child abandonment.
“Without any question, they come in, we’ll take custody of the child, do any medical care that’s neccesary, call an ambulance, we’ll take them to the hospital,” Barneich said.
The hospital then gets in touch with Child Welfare Services and finds that baby a home.
“We would much rather have a child come and be taken care of and buy some time instead of something tragic happening,” Barneich said.
“That’s what that child needs, is a safe environment.. and to be loved the way a child should be loved,” Feliz said.
The parent has 14 days to take their child back if they change their mind.
“I couldn’t imagine not having my son in my life today,” Feliz said.
Nearly 800 babies have been surrendered in California since 2001.