Unwanted newborn babies have a safe place available – but evidently, it's not general public knowledge. The group behind the safe haven aims to correct that.
Stories surface periodically of newborn babies being abandoned in a garbage container or left on church steps by couples or mothers who do so for their very private reasons. Safe Haven Baby Boxes, on the other hand, provide a place where those babies can be left at fire stations or at hospitals.
Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, tells OneNewsNow that's especially important in smaller communities.
"The box gives 100% anonymity. They don't have to walk into the fire station and hand the child to a … firefighter or a medic," she explains. "And if a woman brought me a child today, chances are I know her and her parents and I probably know her brothers and sisters – so she's not going to be feeling as comfortable handing me a child knowing that I know her identity."
And she assures that the mother doesn't need to worry about the baby's well-being once deposited.
"The boxes are electronically monitored," Kelsey continues. "They're heated and they're cooled, and the alarms go off immediately as soon a mom places the baby in the box. [The] average time for one of our babies in our boxes is right about two minutes."
Kelsey's group reports that since November 2017, seven babies have been surrendered inside Safe Haven Baby Boxes. The latest was in Benton, Arkansas, in late May when a newborn was placed in a Baby Box at Fire Station #3 – the first box available in the Natural State. The baby boy was the first in Arkansas legally surrendered inside a Baby Box.
Kelsey says they work hard to educate the public on the availability of the boxes, but the biggest problem is that so many mothers are not aware that they exist.