CLARKSVILLE — A newborn baby girl was safely surrendered Sunday in a Safe Haven Baby Box at a fire station in Clarksville.
The baby box was donated by the Knights of Columbus and was unveiled and blessed on Oct. 16, 2020, according to a news release from Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
"Yesterday morning at 7:05 a.m. this box paid for itself," said Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
"A healthy, beautiful baby girl was surrendered here yesterday morning by a very brave and selfless parent who chose this box for this child," Kelsey said at a press conference Monday morning. "This child is a wanted child that will be adopted within 30-45 days. We actually have a waiting list for Safe Haven babies in the state of Indiana."
Early Sunday morning, firefighters were alerted to a child being placed into the baby box outside the fire station.
"All I can say is wow. Yesterday was one of the most amazing days of my career as a firefighter here," Clarksville Fire Department Chief Brandon Skaggs said. "Six months ago we blessed this box and yesterday it delivered a blessing."
The little girl safely recovered from the box was found wrapped in a towel with her placenta and umbilical cord still attached, according to Linda Znachko, founder of He Knows Your Name ministries.
"This mother I'm sure was scared and we want to tell her we love her, we're proud of her we respect her for her decision of life," Znachko said.
"The baby was beautiful, it was a very emotional experience for the firefighters," Skaggs said. "We get to experience a lot of end of life and yesterday we got to experience the beginning of life."
There have been a total of 55 baby boxes placed throughout Indiana since 2016.
"That baby now has forever love from the firefighters that served yesterday and when she is ready to, she is welcome to have a home here at the Clarksville Fire Department," Skaggs said.
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.