• Wed. May 3rd, 2023

First infant surrendered anonymously at ‘baby box’

ByGurinderbir Singh

Feb 13, 2023

A Kentucky infant last week became the first in the state to be left at a “baby box” under a new state law permitting the anonymous drop-off of newborns.

The infant was placed in a “baby box” at the Bowling Green Fire Department, said Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder and CEO Monica Kelsey on Friday.

The Bowling Green box had been in operation for a little under two months before the first infant was received.

Fire department staff retrieved the child in fewer than 90 seconds, Kelsey said.

“This baby is healthy. This baby is beautiful. This baby is perfect,” said Kelsey, who added that officials will now be searching for the child’s “forever home”.

The boxes, created by Safe Haven Baby Boxes, are intended to give distressed parents a safe place to drop off their newborns while remaining anonymous.

The boxes — installed into exterior walls of hospitals or other public-safety buildings — lock after a newborn is placed inside and notify staff through a silent alarm that a baby has been dropped off.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed the law in 2021 that permits the use of baby boxes for children fewer than 30 days old. The law requires boxes to be placed at police stations, fire departments or hospitals that are staffed 24/7.

“This child that was surrendered here was not abandoned. This child was legally, safely, anonymously and lovingly placed inside of the Safe Haven Baby Box. And that speaks volumes about the parents,” Kelsey said.

The child was the 24th in the country to be surrendered at one of the more than 130 baby box locations established across nine states.

“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,” Kelsey added. “The fire department did exactly what they were trained to do, and it worked flawlessly.”

Safe Haven’s website said the boxes are required because “many mothers-in-crisis want and need anonymity when surrendering an infant, due either to fear of recognition, the stigma associated with surrendering a child, or fear of prosecution due to ignorance and/or misunderstanding of the law”.

This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission

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