Human Interest

First responders retrieve healthy newborn from baby box in Arkansas


An infant born less than 24 hours prior was surrendered at a Safe Haven Baby Box in Benton, Arkansas, on Tuesday.

The Benton Fire Department confirmed the surrender, which occurred at Fire Station 3. It was the second surrender at this location’s baby box since 2020.

“The alarm sounded on the Safe Haven Baby Box located outside the building. First responders investigated and found that a newborn baby, less than 24 hours old, had been placed inside the box,” Matt Thibault, spokesperson for the City of Benton, said in a statement.

The Safe Haven Baby Box organization provides temperature-controlled monitored boxes where parents can safely and anonymously surrender their infant. When a child is placed inside, an alarm is triggered, alerting help. The boxes are installed in places like fire stations, police stations, or hospitals so that emergency responders can tend to a surrendered infant immediately.

The Arkansas state safe haven law allows parents to surrender their child up to 30 days after birth.

“The baby was healthy and well cared for, obviously loved. It is my understanding that the mother traveled from out of state to surrender her baby as her state does not offer this anonymous and safe option,” Benton Fire Chief Russ Evans said in a press release. 

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“To the mother, thank you for your decision and for allowing the Benton Fire Department to be a part of your journey. Please know your child is healthy and stunningly handsome. Gold bless you,” Evans said in the release.

Monica Kelsey, CEO and Founder of the Safe Haven Baby Box Organization, also praised the parent for their brave surrender.

“I am so thankful this parent chose a safe option for their child. We may never know the reason they used this baby box, but we do know how much they loved their baby,” she said.

Since its inception, the Safe Haven Baby Box organization has seen over 120 infant surrenders. 

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