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Newborn safely surrendered in Safe Haven Baby Box in Bloomington is fourth in Indiana this year

Newborn Baby Hand
Posted at 12:03 PM, Apr 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-14 12:03:39-04

BLOOMINGTON — A newborn infant surrendered in a Safe Haven Baby box in Monroe County is the fourth one this year in the state of Indiana.

The baby was surrendered within the last week at the box located at Monroe Fire Protection District.

"This is the 4th Indiana baby to have been placed in a Safe Haven Baby Box this year just in Indiana," Safe Haven Baby Boxes said in a release issued Friday. "This brings the total for 2023 to 6 precious infants and a total since 2017 to 28. Safe Haven Baby Boxes has transformed safe surrender for Indiana and beyond by allowing the legal surrender of an infant with 100% anonymously."

READ | Indiana's Safe Haven Baby Boxes are saving - and changing - lives

Under Indiana's Safe Haven law, parents have up to 30 days to change their mind once they surrender an infant.

Last year 8 newborns were surrendered via Baby Boxes, according to the organization.

LIST | Find a Safe Haven Baby Box Near You

Kelsey, who was abandoned as an infant, has dedicated her life to helping mothers in crisis and giving them a safe, anonymous way to surrender their babies without fear of persecution or judgment.

READ | Behind the Box: A mother's story of surrendering her infant out of love

Since the first Safe Haven Baby box was installed in Indiana, 21 infants have been placed safely in the boxes. Nationwide, the organization has assisted with 125 safe surrenders stemming from calls to the Safe Haven Baby Box Hotline.

There are currently 136 Safe Haven Baby Boxes available in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, and New Mexico.

Of those boxes, 96 are located across the state of Indiana. The box in Wayne Township is the only Safe Haven Baby Box in Indianapolis, according to Kelsey.

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.

READ | Meet Grace: One of Indiana's Safe Haven babies

Once the infant is collected by first responders, they're taken to the nearest medical facility to be evaluated.

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.

See the map below for locations of all available Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Indiana and across the country.