Indiana’s first infant surrenders of 2023 happened within days of each other, Safe Haven Baby Boxes officials announced.
The first surrender was a newborn at the Cleveland Township baby box in Elkhart. Less than 48 hours later, a newborn was surrendered at the Wayne Township fire station in Indianapolis. Safe Haven Baby Boxes officials did not give exact dates.
“We are very blessed that these mothers chose to lovingly and legally surrender their infant,” said Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder Monica Kelsey. “It is an act of sacrificial love for the best interest of the infant. These babies are so loved and are an answered prayer for adoptive families that will eagerly add them to their family.”
Cleveland Township’s fire chief Mark Travis says the baby box worked exactly as it was designed to.
“Cleveland Township Fire Department is grateful that we were able to provide a safe venue and opportunity for a parent to safely surrender their infant. I am proud of the firefighters for their quick response and professionalism in dealing with this anonymous, lifesaving decision made by this parent,” said Travis.
“We are happy to report that our Safe Haven Box received a surrendered child last week. The system worked smoothly for the mother, the child, and the first responders that received the newborn. Seeing this valuable program work as designed, we encourage anyone in crisis to utilize this safe and legal service,” said Capt. Eric Banister with the Wayne Township fire department.
Last year, eight newborns were surrendered via baby box. Safe Haven believes the number will be surpassed in 2023.
There are 96 baby box locations in Indiana and 136 in the country.
Kentucky and Florida have also had one newborn surrender each this year.