Texas installs first Safe Haven Baby Box in Abilene

Texas has installed its first Safe Haven Baby Box, a temperature-controlled, padded, and monitored place for parents to place their newborn child when they feel unable to care for him or her — no questions asked.

The new Safe Haven Baby Box has been placed at a fire station in Abilene, Texas. The state’s “Baby Moses” law allows parents to safely leave their baby at a fire station, hospital, or police station with employees within 60 days after the child’s birth. The parents will not be charged with child abandonment, can leave the baby anonymously, and the child will be safe. Every state has a safe haven law, though each state differs on designated safe haven locations and the age of the child.

Abilene Fire Chief Cande Flores told a local news outlet, “We’re in the business of saving lives, and we have lots of equipment to do that, and to us, this is another piece of the equipment that allows the public an opportunity to go to somewhere… anonymous. It’s safe, and they can provide something for their child that, normally, they cannot.”

A local pro-life organization raised $20,000 to have the box installed. When a parent opens the door to the box, a silent alarm alerts firefighters, who go to the box to retrieve the baby and bring him or her to a hospital for medical evaluation. An adoptive family will be sought for the child.

According to KLTV, Texas has the highest rate of child abandonment in the nation. An update to the state’s “Baby Moses” law in September hopes to change that. That legislative update added fire departments and law enforcement agencies to the safe places where a child can be placed, paving the way for the Safe Haven Baby Box installation at the Abilene fire station.

Currently, 17 states have Safe Haven Baby Box locations, and more than 40 babies are reported to have been placed in one.

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