The founder of a local ministry is spearheading an effort to install the first baby box in Marion County.
After a baby was found abandoned in Eagle Creek Park in 2014, Linda Znachko with He knows Your Name Ministry arranged for a proper burial for the baby —she named Amelia. Znachko started reaching out to local officials about getting a Safe Haven box in the area where Amelia was found, but the efforts stalled.
“I really wanted to donate that Safe Haven baby box in her name and make sure there was a box in that area and it got stopped because of the health department putting up obstacles and that’s why the legislation’s been dragged through the mud for about two years,” Znachko says.
Indiana’s Safe Haven law allows someone to anonymously give up a newborn to an emergency room, police or fire station without fear of arrest. A law passed this year now allows 24-hour staffed fire stations to use the baby boxes.
Znachko says she has the funding for a baby box, she's just waiting for the go-ahead.
“There’s no reason now that the law is signed. DCS is out of the way, the health department is out of the way and I have a baby box paid for waiting to go in somewhere,” Znachko says.
There are two baby boxes in the state, Woodburn and Michigan City. And they are being used. Two babies have been left in a Safe Haven baby box just outside of Michigan City within the last five months.