By Bridget Sielicki
A Florida baby has been saved after being surrendered at the Safe Haven Baby Box in Ocala. The surrender marks the first time that a baby has been surrendered using the box, which was installed in 2020 and is the only one in the state.
“I’m so happy to hear of this miracle baby,” said Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn at a press conference Thursday morning. “I knew when we did this in 2020, this day would come. We all did. We just didn’t know when. We’re glad it was there as a resource for the mother of this child. I’m sure there will be a bright future ahead for this precious child.”
The Safe Haven Baby Box organization installs temperature-controlled boxes in hospitals and fire stations throughout the country. When a baby is placed inside the box, a silent alarm is triggered, and the child is rescued and receives medical attention immediately. The boxes allow a parent to safely and anonymously surrender an infant under each state’s safe haven law, which exists to reduce instances of infant abandonment.
Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, started her organization because she, too, was abandoned as an infant. “My biological father is a rapist and I was abandoned at birth and my life still has value,” she said. “I wish that today, my birth mom would have had those resources all those years ago.”
Kelsey was in Florida for a press conference following the successful surrender. “We are so proud of this selfless parent who has lovingly surrendered their infant via a Baby Box over the holiday!” she said. “We are so happy this community was prepared for this situation. We know this baby will be so loved by an adoptive family and we are so thrilled to be a part of protecting infants from abandonment.”
Thus far, Safe Haven Baby Boxes are located in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The infant surrender marks the 23rd since 2017, utilizing one of the boxes.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.