A video showing how Safe Haven Baby Boxes work posted on TikTok has racked up nearly 20 million views. Monica Kelsey, who founded the non-profit, is a firefighter and paramedic who was abandoned as an infant. Through the Safe Haven Baby Boxes TikTok account, Kelsey has been sharing videos to spread awareness of not only the baby boxes themselves, but how they work as well.
Using a doll, Kelsey walked viewers through the process from beginning to end. A mother would approach the baby box, which is typically located at a safe location, like a fire department or hospital. “When a parent walks up to one of our Safe Haven Baby Boxes all they have to do is open the door, place their child inside, take the orange bag, shut the door and walk away,” she explained. The orange bag has resources for parents who surrender their child, and once the door is closed, a silent alarm is activated.
Then, from the inside of the safe location, first responders can secure the baby and take him or her to a hospital to be evaluated. Kelsey said the average time a baby spends inside one of the climate-controlled boxes is two minutes or less. There are currently 60 baby box locations across the country.
In an interview with WRTV last year, Kelsey explained that the mothers who surrender their children do love them, and they don’t fit a specific mold. “We have had a registered nurse come through our program, a mom with four kids, a single mom, and career dads,” she noted. “This option of surrendering is available to anyone who finds themselves in a crisis if they feel this is the best option for them. After a mom calls us, the first thing she wants to know is ‘is my baby safe and is my baby healthy.’ 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.”
In addition to the baby boxes, the Safe Haven Baby Box organization operates a 24-hour hotline (1-866-99BABY1), where mothers considering giving up their babies can speak anonymously to a professional.
Kelsey has previously spoken to Live Action News about baby boxes, as well as Safe Haven laws, and how they save lives. “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,” she said. “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.”
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