Face of Safely Surrendered Baby Law: Adopted boy 'brings such joy'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) This is the second year that February is recognized as Safely Surrendered Baby Awareness Month.

The Safely Surrendered Baby Law was created in 2001 and signed permanently into state law in 2006, allowing mothers who have crisis pregnancies to safely surrender their babies to a hospital or fire station with no names, no questions, and no criminal prosecution if the baby is unharmed.

Under the program, 39 babies have been surrendered in Kern County.

Mary and Adam Webb were ecstatic to be the recipients of one of those infants who was given a chance at life. Their son, John, now 10 months old, was born in spring 2013. He never left the hospital, and just days later joined his adoptive parents.

"We both wanted to have children since we were married and had difficulty and faced a lot of challenges," said Mary Webb. "He just brings such joy and a new light to life."

The Webbs say they would love to adopt another safely surrendered infant to join their son.

"As an adopted child, that can be a tough transition, and so to have another surrender would just be amazing. It's a journey they can share together," said Mary Webb.

Jana Slagle, chair of the Safely Surrendered Baby Coalition of Kern County, said she believes awareness is key.

"Really, the hospitals, the fire stations, we all want that woman to feel safe, and to make a good decision. I think when you do something to harm a baby, you regret that the rest of your life," said Slagle.