A baby in Kentucky was just anonymously surrendered and saved by a newly installed “Safe Haven Baby Box.” That incident occurred just two weeks ago, happening less than two months after the box’s installation in Bowling Green.
As background, the baby box was installed by a group called the Safe Haven Baby Box organization, which installs boxes that are temperature controlled, hooked to alarms that alert workers if a baby has been placed in them, and are constantly monitored. The boxes, which are installed in places like fire stations, police stations, or hospitals so that emergency responders can tend to the infant immediately, allow parents of an infant they can’t care for to anonymously deposit a baby. CNN. reporting on how the boxes work, said:
The boxes — installed into exterior walls of designated hospitals or public safety buildings — allow newborns to be placed in the devices, which then lock on the outside and trigger silent alarms, notifying staff members to secure the babies from inside the buildings.
The devices, by Safe Haven Baby Boxes, are meant to give distressed parents a safe place to drop off their newborns while remaining anonymous, preventing the illegal abandonment of newborns.
Monica Kelsey, the founder of the Safe Haven Baby Box organization, held a press conference to discuss the recent use of one of the boxes. She said “This child was left safely and legally in this baby box so that the baby could be pulled from the other side by the firefighter. The fire department did exactly what they were trained to do, and it worked flawlessly.”
She also said, in reference to the parent or parents that left the baby in the box, “Thank you for doing what you felt you could for the life of this child. This baby is healthy. This baby is beautiful. This baby is perfect. And the Department of Child Services is now looking for a forever home for this family… If this parent is out there and they want the resources of counseling or medical care, it is available for you at no cost.”
Safe Haven Baby Boxes shared much the same message in a Facebook post, saying “To the parent that entrusted your newborn with us, Thank you! Thank you for keeping your child safe and thank you for trusting us to take it from here! You are a hero!!”
Live Action, reporting on why the box was able to be installed in Kentucky and the number of babies that the organization has so far saved, reported:
Though each state has a safe haven law allowing parents to surrender an infant in an attempt to curtail infant abandonment, the Safe Haven Baby Box organization aims to make it easier for parents who wish to remain anonymous. Started by Kelsey, who herself was abandoned as an infant, the organization has successfully implemented boxes throughout the country. This surrender marks the 24th since 2016.
In 2021, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed the “Safe Haven Baby Box Law,” allowing the installation of these baby boxes, which parents can legally utilize up to 30 days after birth. The state now has 16 baby box locations and the surrender last week marks the first time that one of the state’s boxes was used.
State Rep. Nancy Tate, who spearheaded the baby box bill, praised the latest surrender. “It makes my heart full to know how supportive this project is,” she said. Tate said her end goal is to have at least one box in every Kentucky county.
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1
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