A law on the books in Indiana allows women to abandon a newborn baby at a hospital, without fear of prosecution.
The nonprofit Safe Haven Baby Boxes opened its 59th and 60th baby boxes statewide Wednesday in Martinsville and Franklin. Most of them are in firehouses, giving women a more anonymous method of legally abandoning their newborn.
“It is working, we’re not finding dead babies in our state, and that really is the success, is when we don’t find dead babies,” Safe Haven founder Monica Kelsey said.
Martinsville resident Bethaney Latham worked with Safe Haven to construct a box on the side of the Martinsville Fire Station.
“And once a baby is placed inside, there is a beam of light that points from one end of the box to the other, if a baby were to be placed in a bassinette, it would of course stop that beam of light and trigger an alarm,” said Latham.
Since fire stations are staffed around the clock, a first responder can tend to the baby until it can be handed over to the proper authorities.
A Safe Haven Baby Box was also constructed at the Mooresville Fire Department in 2019.