Two infants surrendered in 10 days under state law, officials say

Two infants have been surrendered in the Lowcountry just 10 days apart under Daniel’s Law. (Source: WCSC)
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 7:18 PM CDT

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC/Gray News) - Officials in South Carolina say they are seeing a slight uptick in infants being surrendered under Daniel’s Law.

According to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the numbers include two infants being turned in over the last couple of weeks.

Officials said one of the infants was surrendered on Tuesday at the Summerville Medical Center after birth at the hospital.

“It’s a very positive experience because I know we helped a mom that was in a situation that she didn’t know how to get out of while also helping that baby get excellent care,” said Melissa Arena with the Summerville Medical Center.

Hospital staff said they will make sure the newborn is healthy and then coordinate with social services to place the child in foster care.

Ten days prior, another newborn was surrendered. Officials said this baby was turned in to first responders at the Moncks Corner Fire Department.

“As far as why we’re seeing so many surrenders all of a sudden I really think it has to do with the public information that we put out,” said Connelly-Anne Ragley with social services.

The department said it is committed to spreading the word about Daniel’s Law because the team believes it prevents the abuse and neglect of infants.

“To an adult that is surrendering an infant, we want you to know we don’t think you are a villain,” Ragley said. “We don’t think you are a bad person; you are making an incredible selfless choice.”

Daniel’s Law provides a safe and legal option to surrender infants up to 60 days old at certain locations, including hospitals and law enforcement agencies.

The law is named for an infant boy who survived after being buried in a landfill in Allendale County soon after his birth.