February is Safely Surrender Baby awareness Month.
The Safe Surrender program was signed into law seven years ago to help reduce the number of abandoned babies.
Beverly and David Langella say they struggled with having a baby for years. But, five years ago, when they heard about the Safe Surrender program, it changed their lives.
"He's healthy, he's happy, he's growing like a weed," said Beverly Langella. "It's been great."
Mateo Langella is your average five-year-old boy who loves to play at the park. But, these five years would have been much different for him, if it wasn't for the Safe Surrender program.
"There are no names, it's anonymous," said Jana Slagle, Safely Surrendered Baby Coalition. "It's a way of protecting babies from putting them in the dumpster or abandoning them, We want to save them."
Beverly and David Langella adopted Mateo as a Safe Surrender baby, giving him a new start at life.
"We couldn't get pregnant, didn't get pregnant, and now we have him and we love him as if he were one of our own, " said Beverly Langella.
The Safely Surrender Coalition says since 2006, 31 babies have been safely surrendered in Kern County.
However, that number is much larger statewide, with 405 babies being surrendered since 2001.
"There's a lot of options out there and this is definitely a really good one if they can see themselves carrying that baby until their due date," Langella continued. "They can go to a hospital. They can go to a fire station and they can turn the baby over. No one will ask any questions."
The Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed in 2006. It allows a parent or person with lawful custody to safely surrender a baby within 72 hours of birth, without fear of prosecution.
"All the babies that are surrendered do go right away into a pre-screened family that's already been screened for adoption," said Slagle. "They're qualified and ready to go."
A statewide, toll-free hotline provides safe surrender baby site locations throughout the state. The hotline number is 877-222-9723.