Safe Haven Baby Boxes

2024 appears to be a year for expansion for Save Haven Baby boxes to spread across the US. In December, Wisconsin governor Tony Evers expanded the state’s current Safe Haven laws to accommodate the boxes. Previously, Wisconsin allowed a person to drop off a newborn less than 72 hours old at a police department, hospital, or fire department. Now, the law permits parents to do so anonymously. The sites allow a parent to place a child in a safe, climate controlled “window” that is rigged to an alarm that notifies someone on site. Prattville, Alabama, will host the opening of a new baby box site on January 11. The boxes are legal in 22 states, although only 14 of those states currently have them.

Indiana, where the baby box was founded, saw seven newborns rescued last year. A Florida couple made headlines after adopting the first baby rescued in Florida through a box. The baby was adopted by the firefighter who was on duty when she was placed in the box. In Hawaii, where there are currently no baby boxes, a good Samaritan rescued a newborn from a trash can after witnessing its homeless mother place the baby in the can. Safe Haven Baby Boxes, Inc, founder, Monica Kelsey, told Fox News that Safe Haven laws, although enacted in all 50 states, can be confusing because they differ from state to state. “If [the law] is confusing to [advocates] and we’re not in a moment of crisis, then it’s confusing to these women who are having the worst day of their life, and they’re trying to figure out what the law is,” she said.

Kelsey’s involvement with abandoned babies is personal, having been abandoned as an infant herself. Speaking to Fox News, she stated she had always known she was adopted, but did not know the circumstances of her birth until she met her birth mother as an adult. According to Kelsey’s biological mother, she had been raped and impregnated at 17. She was forced to leave school and essentially go into hiding. She abandoned Kelsey hours after giving birth to her. “And so, I stand on the front lines of this movement as one of these kids that wasn’t lovingly and safely and legally placed in a Safe Haven Baby Box by a mother that wanted me,” Kelsey said.

Despite her beginnings, Kelsey called her life “blessed.” According to the Safe Haven Baby Box website, their 24-hour hotline which offers free counseling to women in crisis has received over 9,000 calls and referred over 500 women to crisis pregnancy centers. There have been over 140 legal Safe Haven baby surrenders, 37 of which have been through the baby boxes. “And it’s just it’s a God-given purpose. I don’t take it lightly. I take it very seriously. And now I’m traveling the country doing His work,” she said. “My goal is to stop infant abandonment. And wherever Christ leads me is where I’m going to go.”

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