A Senate panel advanced a bill that sanctions the use of baby boxes in hospitals just one week after the same language couldn’t get enough support for a vote.
Indiana has two existing baby boxes, both in firehouses. The boxes are meant to be a more anonymous way for someone to leave an unwanted newborn. The Department of Child Services, DCS, has questioned their legality.
Sen. Travis Holdman’s (R-Markle) amendment to legalize baby boxes in hospitals failed to get support for a vote last week.
But this week, Holdman offered the same amendment and it passed unanimously, as did the overall bill.
Holdman says full support came after he spoke more with committee members, who weren’t fully briefed last week.
And Holdman says his amendment incorporates a DCS suggestion, but he acknowledges it isn’t language DCS loves, or likes, or might even be able to live with.
“Their suggestion was to limit it to hospitals only, or hospital facilities that are staffed 24-7. And so I think this is a good way to start; we see what the response is,” Holdman says.
Last week, DCS didn’t oppose the amendment but said baby boxes need stricter standards than it provides. The agency did not address the committee this week.