These boxes save lives in the United States

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On the sides of hospitals and fire departments across the United States are these boxes. And they save the lives of infants.

They are known as Safe Haven Baby Boxes. And hundreds are active in 15 states in the U.S. The boxes are an extension of America's Safe Haven Law that has been around for 25 years and allows a parent to surrender their child at a designated location without prosecution.

Founder, Safe Haven Baby Boxes

The baby box actually does two things. One, yes it saves the life of a child if the parents don't want to walk in and surrender their child to a person But then on the flip side, it's also an education arm. And that education arm is constantly on the side of a hospital, constantly on the side of a fire station, so whenever you drive by, you see it, you're constantly reminded that this is a Safe Haven Baby Box location where they take infants.

Nearly 200 infants have been saved through this iniative—either by being delivered in-person at one of the locations or placed directly in the box. And there is a strict procedure when this happens, because the baby's condition is never guaranteed.

Founder, Safe Haven Baby Boxes

The babies that are coming through our boxes are not born in hospitals. These are babies that are born in homeless camps, cars, bathrooms—we're getting babies with placentas still attached.
The fire department then of course gets the alarm, 60 seconds after a baby is placed inside, the alarms go off and notify first responders. So they usually get down to the baby box within a minute. And so these babies are usually only in the baby box for about two minutes. The baby gets evaluated there at the fire station or the hospital and then if it's a fire station they get transported to the closest medical facility.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes also recognize that when a child is surrendered, a life is saved, but a parent is hurting. That's why they also offer counseling, medical care and a 24/7 crisis hotline.

The Founder of the initiative, Monica Kelsey, was once in the situation that is faced by the babies who are surrendered.

Founder, Safe Haven Baby Boxes

Most people don't know that I was abandoned as an infant, two hours after my birth mom gave birth to me and these babies that are placed in our baby boxes, they are not abandoned. They're not illegally abandoned. These babies are legally, safely, anonymously and lovingly placed in a safe haven baby box by a parent that wanted something more for them.

Monica says that more states in the U.S. are actively advancing legislation for the Safe Haven Laws. And she expects that Safe Haven Baby Boxes will be present in all 50 states within the next couple of years.


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