Indiana has an unusual, but creative way of taking care of babies that might otherwise be abandoned.
It’s called a Safe Haven Baby Box, and it allows a place for desperate mothers to place their child where it will be safe and cared for.
From the Blaze:
Under Indiana law, a mother may surrender her baby legally and anonymously at a Safe Haven location such as hospitals, fire stations, or police stations. Authorities will then place the baby in the custody of the Department of Child Services.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes are designed to allow mothers to surrender their babies without face-to-face interaction with officials. Once a baby is placed inside the temperature-controlled box, an alarm notifies officials, and the box locks to keep the baby safe until they arrive.
It’s just a box built into the side of the building, big enough to hold an infant, and I understand, it is to very much be a last resort.
Opponents of the Safe Haven boxes argue that they’re too expensive and unnecessary, given the existing safe haven laws.
In April 2016 a box was installed on the side of the La Porte County fire department. Earlier this week, it got its first test.
WGN reported that the Safe Haven box’s alarm went off notifying officials at the Coolspring Township Fire Department that a baby had been placed inside.
Chief Mick Pawlik told WGN that the station has had false alarms with the box, and he initially thought someone might have placed a doll inside.
“So I open it up and that baby just looked me right in the eyes,” Pawlik said. “Now the baby is quiet, calm, checked her out real quick inside of the box.”
First responders dubbed the infant Baby Hope. They said she was only about an hour old and was still covered in blood.
Hope is a great name.
“I don’t know what this girl went through. I have nothing but good things to say. It’s a win-win scenario,” Pawlik said of finding the baby safe inside the box, adding, “Until you’re a firefighter, cop, medic, and see all the bad stuff that we see. I’m elated for once we see something good.”
And that’s so important to remember. We can’t judge the mothers who do these things, even though our natural instincts may drive us to frown upon mothers who would abandon their babies.
This mother had a choice, and she chose to put her baby somewhere safe.
Assistant Chief Warren Smith told WGN the department is thankful the mother made the right choice and encouraged her to seek help and medical attention.
“I would really like to thank the mother who did this for doing the right thing,” Smith said. “She stepped up to the plate and did the right thing. She turned the baby into the Baby box instead of us finding the baby in a ditch or woods. We hear so many horrible stories.”
There have been far too many stories of newborns found in trashcans, so yeah, I get where he’s coming from.
Monica Kelsey, the firefighter who designed the boxes was equally happy that a little life was saved by her design.
Kelsey has a special connection to abandoned babies, herself.
At only 2 hours hold, Kelsey was an abandoned baby.
Her mother had been 17, and Kelsey was the product of rape.
We can’t know the story of this latest infant’s mom, but because of the means that the Safe Haven baby boxes provide, and the bravery of that mom, that baby now has a chance at life.
Good work, everybody.