For the second time this month, a newborn was surrendered in the Safe Haven Baby Box at Carmel Fire Dept. Station 45.
The healthy baby girl was placed in the box April 16, and firefighters retrieved and assessed the infant in less than a minute.
A baby boy was surrendered April 5 at Station 45, making it the first time in the history of Safe Haven Baby Boxes that the same box had been utilized less than two weeks apart.
“These babies weren’t abandoned. They were legally, safely, anonymously and lovingly surrendered, and our job now is to make sure these little guys and girls grow up in a home that has been praying for them for a very long time,” said Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, who was illegally abandoned as an infant.
The boxes provide a place for parents or guardians who can’t care for a newborn to safely and anonymously surrender the child. After retrieving an infant from a baby box, firefighters transport the child to the hospital and remain there until the child enters the custody of the Indiana Dept. of Child Services.
CFD Chief Dave Haboush thanked the mother of the most recently surrendered infant for her decision.
“Thank you. That is a brave and bold move you have done on behalf of your baby girl,” he said.
The Carmel box was installed in December 2018 and went unused until this month.
Since Safe Haven placed its first boxes in Indiana in April 2016, the state has not reported any fatal incidents of infant abandonment. Previously, two to three babies died annually in Indiana after being abandoned, Kelsey said.
It’s been a busy month for Safe Haven Baby Boxes. The same day the baby girl was surrendered in Carmel, the organization, through its hotline, helped a mother in Kentucky – who didn’t live near a baby box – surrender her newborn at a nearby hospital.
Since 2017, 18 infants have been surrendered in Safe Haven boxes, and 117 babies have been surrendered as a result of calling the hotline.