KOKOMO — A baby has been surrendered at a Safe Haven Baby Box in Kokomo.
This is the fifth baby to be surrendered this year in Indiana and the 12th in the country.
According to Kokomo Fire Chief Chris Frazier, a baby girl was surrendered on Monday into the Safe Haven Baby Box at Kokomo Fire Station #1.
"The Mother lovingly made the decision to make sure her daughter was safe and given excellent medical care by the Kokomo Firefighters and St Vincent/Ascension Paramedics," Frazier said. "Although these are hard choices to make, we applaud the mother for giving her daughter the chance at life through an anonymous, safe and legal option."
The Kokomo Fire Department installed this Safe Haven Baby Box on June 11, 2020.
Frazier also shared his thanks to the Knights of Columbus for their investment.
Monica Kelsey, Safe Haven Baby Box Founder, discovered she was abandoned shortly after birth later in her adult life. Since then she has been on a mission to end infant abandonment in the U.S.
“We are so grateful to this birth mother for bravely and lovingly surrendering her infant. It is a joy each and every time we get a call saying we have a baby in a Box," Kelsey said. "When we are prepared to aid women in crisis we can positively impact so many. A family who has been eagerly awaiting a baby to adopt has their life forever changed for the better.”
The fire department and Safe Haven Baby Box plan to announce more details at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
What is a Safe Haven Baby Box?
Baby boxes are safe incubators that have alarm systems, so 911 is notified as soon as a baby is placed inside. The baby boxes also have heating and cooling features.
Once the infant is collected by first responders, they're taken to the nearest medical facility to be evaluated.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes Infants surrendered under Indiana's Safe Haven Law are placed in the custody of the state's Department of Child Services after they are released from the hospital. The process then begins to find an adoptive family within 30-45 days.
Safe Haven Hotline
The boxes make the news, but the Safe Haven Hotline is where most of these journeys begin.
SHBB staffs a 24-hour Safe Haven hotline (1-866-99BABY1), so parents can talk to trained professionals and get more information about their options for surrendering or how to get assistance to help them be able to care for their child.
The SHBB hotline is staffed by licensed counselors.
The Safe Haven Law allows mothers to safely surrender their infants, anonymously, up to 30 days old
Under the Safe Haven Law, parents have up to 30 days to change their mind once they surrender an infant.