First Safe Haven Baby Box Rescue of 2024: Infant Surrendered to Indiana Fire Station
The first Safe Haven Baby Box infant surrender of 2024 happened at an Indiana fire station last week, according to officials.
Fire Chief William Banta said the baby was surrendered to the baby box at the Georgetown Township Fire Station #1, which was installed in December of 2022.
“The needs of the infant were attended to promptly, and the proper notifications were made,” Banta said, according to local news outlet WDRB. “The thoughts and prayers of the GTFD are with everyone involved with this situation.”
Safe Haven Baby Boxes said Sunday that the surrender is also the first time that particular baby box has been used since its installation.
“Wow, we are so grateful to this birth mother for bravely and sacrificially choosing what she believes to be best for her baby,” said Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. “We are honored that she trusted our program to protect her and her infant. We are seeing record numbers of mothers needing our program and we are so eager to meet their needs and be prepared. There is a real beauty in seeing the families made with these babies adopted by amazing families. It is a real chance to rewrite tragedy into a blessing.”
Baby boxes were created to deter parents from abandoning their newborns, potentially leaving them to die. Baby boxes are temperature-controlled incubators that are often built into outside, exterior walls of fire stations, police stations, and hospitals and can be accessed from inside. At-risk mothers can safely and legally place their newborns inside. Then, the outside door locks, and mothers have time to get away before an alarm goes off alerting first responders or hospital staff inside.
The baby is then quickly removed and sent to a hospital for a wellness check. From there, the baby is usually placed into state custody and often quickly adopted. Indiana’s Safe Haven law allows parents to surrender infants up to 30 days after birth, either to baby boxes or face-to-face with hospital staff or first responders.