SEYMOUR — The state's ninth Safe Haven Baby Box will go live in Seymour later this week.
The Seymour Fire Department installed the box this month at their station at 605 Meadowbrook Drive. The station was chosen to host the box because of how close it is to I-65.
The Seymour Baby Box was paid for by Columbus North High School student Hunter Wart who raised money for the box as part of his senior project. Wart worked for nearly a year to earn the $10,000 for the box, which was initially planned as a gift to the city of Columbus. The city declined the box, saying it did not align with their current standard which includes providing care to both the infant and emotional support for the surrendering parent.
The box is set to go live in Seymour on June 14.
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.
Indiana's Safe Haven law allows people to anonymously surrender their healthy infants at any fire station in the state without fear of criminal prosecution.
The Safe Haven Baby Box organization also staffs a 24-hour hotline (1-866-99BABY1), so parents can talk to trained professionals about possibly surrendering their baby.
Two infants have been surrendered inside Safe Haven Baby Boxes since the first was installed in 2016, according to the organization. Two other babies have been surrendered at fire stations with Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Indiana. Nationwide, 51 infants have been surrendered following calls to the Safe Haven Baby Boxes national hotline.