Celebrating Safe Surrender Month with the Davis Family

Friday February 9, 2024

It’s been ten years since Anthony Davis, KCSOS’s Chief Technology Officer, and his wife, Ali, decided to adopt their son, Nathan who was safely surrendered by his birth mother when he was born 23 weeks premature at just 1.4 pounds. This week, at a press conference celebrating Safe Surrender Month in partnership with Kern County Department of Human Services (KCDHS), Davis and his family continued their work to advocate for this important cause.

According to the Safe Surrender law, parents can safely surrender their babies at most emergency rooms and the city of Bakersfield and Kern County fire stations within three days of birth. No questions asked. Since the law was made permanent in 2006, KCDHS says 98 newborns have been safely surrendered in Kern County. 

Lito Morillo, Director of KCDHS, emphasized the importance of spreading awareness for the Safe Surrender program to ensure distressed parents know that they can confidentially and safely surrender their baby if they are unable or unwilling to care for the infant. 

“This law offers a compassionate solution in an otherwise desperate situation,” said Morillo. “No shame. No blame. No name. That’s our tagline, and that’s exactly what this program envisions to do.”  

Anthony and Ali Davis pose with their son Nathan.

As longtime foster parents, Davis and his wife had previously adopted three children when they received a call that Nathan needed a family. Due to his size, Nathan spent the first four weeks of his life in the hospital. Both Davis and his wife spent months visiting him in the hospital, waiting for the time when he would be healthy enough to go home. 

Speaking during the press conference, Davis’s wife looks back on how the Safe Surrender program gave her son a fighting chance to live.

“We stand before you today as parents who have experienced firsthand the profound impact that Safe Surrender law and program can provide,” said Ali Davis. “The decision Nathan’s birth mother made to surrender gave him the care and loving forever home that he needed. Today, the young man you see is a happy, healthy, thriving 10-year-old who loves riding bikes, playing video games, and excelling at most sports.”

Along with KCDHS, the Davis family is grateful for this program and happy to advocate for the Safe Surrender program. To learn more about Safely Surrendered Baby Awareness Month or the resources available to the public regarding Safe Surrender, please visit www.kcdhs.org/ssb.

By Jennifer Bryan

By Jennifer Bryan

Jennifer Bryan joined Kern County Superintendent of Schools in 2021 as a Communications Specialist. As a creative and motivated marketing communications specialist, she has a special knack for storytelling and content creation. Born and raised in Kern County, Jennifer has worked in major industries within the region such as agriculture and oil and gas before she made the transition to education.