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Safe Haven Baby Boxes installs 200th box in U.S.; more than six babies surrendered so far this year

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In early February, Safe Haven Baby Boxes marked the 200th installation of a baby box, a device designed to assist birth parents in the safe and anonymous care of their infants.

Monica Kelsey, the organisation’s executive director, observed that this was a significant development.

Kelsey attended the “blessing” of the box, which was installed in the community of Roswell, N.M. Just one day earlier, a baby was surrendered in a Safe Haven Baby Box (SHBB) in Belen, another community in the state. Roswell is the sixth SHBB in New Mexico.

To date, the staff of SHBB have facilitated the surrender of more than half a dozen infants by their birth parents.

The inaugural surrender of 2024 was conducted within a baby box situated in Georgetown Township, Indiana, in close proximity to the Kentucky border. This was also the inaugural surrender at that fire station subsequent to the installation of the box in 2022.

“The infant had not previously surrendered in the designated safe haven box, and this was the inaugural surrender in Georgetown,” Kelsey stated. “We are grateful that the birth parent entrusted the Georgetown fire department and Safe Haven Baby Boxes with the care of this child.” The process was executed in accordance with its intended design.

In January, Kelsey and the personnel from the fire station where the baby box was installed convened a press conference to announce the surrender.

The necessity for legislation establishing safe havens and designated areas

Furthermore, Kelsey indicated that additional surrenders had occurred in other communities across the United States, including in Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and South Carolina. One of these instances occurred within the confines of a baby box, while the remaining five were direct handovers, according to Kelsey. This indicates that the birth parent placed the infant into the care of a first responder or hospital worker.

“Some of the locations where these infants are being relinquished do have designated areas for their placement,” Kelsey stated. The objective, however, is to transfer these infants to the custody of first responders as soon as possible. In the event that this is not possible, the parents are informed of the correct procedure for utilising a baby box.

One of the functions of the SHBB programme is to assist birth parents who feel unable to care for their child. Every state has a Safe Haven law, but the specific provisions vary from state to state. These include the location where a baby can be left and the timeframe within which a birth parent must seek assistance.

In a report published in December 2021, the Charlotte Lozier Institute noted that each state establishes its own criteria under its Safe Haven law, specifying valid locations and age cutoffs for infant relinquishment.

Those who have given birth and wish to relinquish their child in a safe manner through the provisions of Safe Haven laws often contact SHBB, where they will be informed of the relevant state laws and provided with information on the locations where they can surrender their child anonymously. Nevertheless, there is no obligation to relinquish the child.

“We will provide [birthparents] with resources that are beneficial to them,” Kelsey stated. “We will not impose our will upon you.”

The programme incorporates education about SHBB as an integral component. One method employed by Kelsey and her team to disseminate awareness and the educational component to women and men is through the social media platform TikTok.

“We receive a considerable number of communications from parents following the surrender of their children, with some of these communications being received prior to the surrender,” she stated. “Furthermore, we observe a considerable number of these communications on the social media platform TikTok.” The account has amassed a considerable following of approximately one million followers on the social media platform TikTok.

A board member proposed utilising the aforementioned platform, although she initially expressed reservations. Kelsey, however, identified this as an effective means of disseminating information about SHBB.

The inaugural video she created received 27 million hits. Since that initial video, one of our subsequent productions has amassed over 51 million views. The educational aspect of the project can be considered to be the social media aspect. It is imperative that we establish a presence where these mothers and fathers are, and at this moment in time, that is where they are. “We will be present wherever our target audience is.”

The objective is to effect a reversal in the incidence of infant abandonment and mortality.

SHBB was established in 2015 and has since installed boxes in 15 different states. Further installations are scheduled for this year. Kelsey’s aspiration is to see every state in the United States have at least one box, and her long-term objective is to “end infant abandonment.”

In the previous year, a record number of baby boxes were surrendered, with 17 instances occurring across the country, according to Kelsey.

Furthermore, she posited that education and anonymity are crucial factors in this context.

The efforts of SHBB have had a tangible impact, she asserted. For example, in Indiana, the state in which the organisation is located, the average number of abandoned and deceased infants observed annually was two, according to Kelsy. Following the establishment of SHBB, the state has not experienced a single instance of an infant dying without medical intervention.

“I am convinced that the infants destined for landfill sites and waste receptacles are being placed in our boxes,” Kelsey stated. “I believe that the tide is turning.” It seems reasonable to posit that these women understand that we will continue to safeguard them as long as they safeguard their babies. “They know we are there to support them.”

Furthermore, she posited that the anonymity afforded by the baby box represents a significant advantage for women.

Those who have given birth and who wish to consider their options after the birth of their child, or who wish to learn more about Safe Haven Baby Boxes, are encouraged to contact the organisation by telephone or text message on 1-866-99BABY1. A licensed counsellor will then be contacted on the individual’s behalf.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Pregnancy Help News and is reproduced with permission.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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