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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Newborn Surrendered by Mother in Baby Box at Fire Station

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There are few stories as tragic as the ones where a life is cut short before it really had a chance to begin: When a baby is disposed of like garbage instead of being cherished.

Some people are driven to take desperate measures when they feel their situation isn’t suitable for their child, but thankfully there are places that will take in babies, no questions asked, no judgments made.

While the specific intake rules vary from state to state, the law is generally known as the “Baby Moses Law” or the “Safe Haven Law.”

“If you have a newborn that you’re unable to care for, you can bring your baby to a designated safe place with no questions asked,” a page on the Texas Department of Family Protective Services website states.

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“The Safe Haven law, also known as the Baby Moses law, gives parents who are unable to care for their child a safe and legal choice to leave their infant with an employee at a designated safe place — a hospital, fire station, free-standing emergency centers or emergency medical services (EMS) station. Then, your baby will receive medical care and be placed with an emergency provider.”

Working with this law, Safe Haven Baby Boxes is a group that provides special, safe drop-off boxes that protect the identity of the parent and the safety of the baby.

“Safe Haven Baby Boxes is an organization that was founded by Monica Kelsey (an abandoned infant herself) and is geared towards giving mothers in crisis a chance to do the right thing with complete anonymity,” the Facebook page reads.

“Baby Boxes are placed in Safe Haven locations and allow a woman to surrender her unwanted newborn under the Safe Haven Law by placing her newborn in an electronically monitored Safe Haven Baby Box.”

“These newborns will be picked up within 3-5 minutes by medical and fire personnel. The Baby Boxes have 3 alarms that activate and a heating and cooling unit in them for extreme weather.”

“With around 100-150 babies being abandoned every year and some of these babies being dropped off at the doors of fire stations and hospitals we have to extend the Safe Haven Law. These women are telling us that they want complete anonymity and Safe Haven Baby Boxes will ensure that this happens.”

One of those baby boxes was the result of a project by high school senior Hunter Wart, who raised money to have the box installed at the Seymour, Indiana, fire station, according to WRTV.

On Thursday, firefighters at the station heard an alarm that signaled the opening of the baby box, and after a minute had passed, they were able to retrieve the newborn and get her situated. The infant was just one hour old, according to WLKY.

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“I am glad that she is safe, and that I was able to raise the money and have it put here so that she could be safe,” Wart said of the first surrender in the baby box at Station 3.

“We are proud to have this resource available for the residents of Seymour, Indiana,” Brad Lucas, fire chief, said in a release as reported by WRTV. “We strive every day to ensure the safety of our residents and this is just a way to ensure the safety of newborns.”

Kelsey also chimed in to affirm the mother’s decision to turn in her child.

“This mother loved this child and it takes a very special person to want what’s best for a child and know that it’s not her,” she said to WRTV. “That’s the ultimate act of selflessness. I’m so thankful she chose a safe place to surrender her child and not a dumpster or trash can like we see too many times.”

“This little girl’s life is going to go on,” she said to WLKY. “This little girl has a story to tell.”

There are 21 of these Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Indiana, and the baby girl was one of five surrendered over the past two years within the state.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking