NewsPublic Affairs / April 27, 2016

Nation’s First Safe Haven Baby Boxes Unveiled In Indiana

The electronically-monitored boxes are heated and contain a motion sensor that triggers a 911 call.safe haven baby boxes, baby boxes2016-04-27T00:00:00-04:00
Nation’s First Safe Haven Baby Boxes Unveiled In Indiana

A prototype of the baby box sits on a counter in the Woodburn Fire Station just outside of Fort Wayne. The boxes are built into the walls of fire stations, police stations, hospitals or other qualified nonprofits, such as domestic violence shelters.

Gretchen Frazee

The first baby boxes in the country are being unveiled at two northern Indiana fire stations this week. The boxes act as incubators to protect babies abandoned under the state’s Safe Haven law.

Indiana law allows parents of unwanted newborns to give up their babies at fire stations, police departments and hospitals. The Safe Haven Baby Boxes aim to keep those parents anonymous and their baby safe.

Safe Haven Baby Box Founder Monica Kelsey got the idea for the boxes because she was abandoned at a hospital as a child. She says as soon as someone opens the heated boxes it triggers a 911 call.

“Before the child is even placed in the box we’re initiating fire and medical to come to this location,” Kelsey says.

Kelsey revealed the first baby box at the Woodburn fire station Tuesday. The volunteer fire department in Cool Springs Township will unveil its baby box Thursday.

“Their fire station in the last 15 years has had 7 babies abandoned within a 5-mile radius of the fire station,” Kelsey says. “They were tired of finding dead babies.”

Kelsey says she’s focusing on installing Safe Haven Baby Boxes at other Indiana locations where people abandoned babies in the past.

 

 

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