The 55th Safe Haven Baby Box in Indiana (the 63rd in the United States) opened on April 30th, giving local infants and their desperate parents a chance at a safe surrender.
According to WTHR, the baby box is located at a fire station. It was funded by several community groups, and will allow any parent to safely and anonymously surrender a newborn up to 30 days old, no questions asked.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes recently went viral on TikTok, with a video featuring founder Monica Kelsey demonstrating how the boxes work. For parents who want to surrender their children, they simply go to the baby box, which is typically located at a safe location, like a fire department or hospital. They simply open the door, place their child inside, take the orange bag that’s left inside, shut the door, and walk away. The orange bag has resources for parents who surrender their child, and once the door is closed, a silent alarm is activated. Inside the safe location, first responders secure the baby and take him or her to a hospital to be evaluated. The inside of the box is climate-controlled and secure, and allows parents to make a loving choice when they feel they aren’t capable of caring for their children.
Kelsey explained in a previous interview with WRTV that there is no particular mold for parents who use the baby boxes; they come from all walks of life, and all of them love their children.
“After a mom calls us, the first thing she wants to know is ‘is my baby safe and is my baby healthy,'” Kelsey said. “That speaks volumes about these moms. These moms absolutely love their children; they are just in a crisis that you or I may not understand.”
Safe Haven Baby Boxes also operates a 24-hour hotline (1-866-99BABY1) for parents considering surrendering their infants, where they can talk to a professional to get advice and resources. Kelsey, a firefighter and paramedic, was herself abandoned as an infant, and founded Safe Haven Baby Boxes so desperate parents never feel that their only option is to abandon their newborn somewhere unsafe.
“In most states, a woman has 30 days after birth to safely surrender the child at any fire station, police station, or hospital with no questions asked,” Kelsey said in a previous interview with Live Action News. “In some of these states, the girl gets free medical care to assist with the birth of the child or any complications resulting from the birth. This law is a win-win situation for all parties involved. The mother walks away with zero chance of prosecution, while the baby has the opportunity to be adopted into a loving home, and a family open their hearts and home to the child for whom they’ve prayed.”
Editor’s Note, 5/2/21: This article originally stated that this was the 50th Safe Haven Baby Box in Indiana and changed it to the correct number of 55. We regret the error.
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