SEA 340 Expanded Use of Baby Boxes at Indiana Fire Stations
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – A baby was safely surrendered Sunday into a baby box at a Michigan City fire station. Under the Safe Haven Law, newborns up to 30 days old can be anonymously surrendered at fire stations, hospitals, and police stations. Indiana law also allows for the installation of baby boxes at hospitals and fire stations.
This is the second baby surrendered in this baby box. A baby girl was surrendered last November. There are two baby boxes in Indiana: the Coolspring Township Fire Department at the Woodburn Fire Station.
The Indiana General Assembly just passed Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 340 that allows for the expansion of baby box installation at fire departments, including volunteer fire departments, that are staffed by an emergency medical services provider. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the legislation into law on March 25.
The baby box at the Coolspring Township Fire Department was grandfathered into law during the 2017 General Assembly Session.
“We are pleased to learn of the baby saved in the Michigan City Fire Station baby box,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “This is the second baby who now has a chance at life. We never want a mother to feel like she is in such a desperate situation that surrendering is her only option, but it is certainly preferred to illegal abandonment. “
Fichter added, “We commend our Indiana legislators and Gov. Eric Holcomb for recognizing the value in baby boxes. We encourage all eligible locations to consider installing and promoting them. Yesterday’s save underscores the importance of baby boxes.”
According to Safe Haven Baby Boxes, Inc., Indiana is the only state with baby safes. Since the baby safes were introduced in Indiana, there have been no deadly abandonments. The organization reports that babies have been saved after their guardians contacted the Baby Safe Hotline at 1-866-99BABY1.