First infant surrendered in Missouri’s only Safe Haven Baby Box

A baby girl was safely surrendered in a Missouri Safe Haven Baby Box last week — the first surrender since the state passed a law in 2021 allowing babies to be surrendered in baby boxes.

According to US news, the baby girl was placed in a box at a Mehlville Fire District station in St. Louis County. The box was placed in August of 2023. Fire crews estimated that the girl was a few hours old at the time of her surrender; he was taken to a hospital for evaluation and is said to be in good condition.

The Safe Haven Baby Box organization places temperature-controlled boxes in facilities such as fire stations or hospitals across the country. The boxes allow a mother or father who feels unable to parent their child to surrender their child safely and anonymously, in accordance with their state’s safe haven law. Once the child is inside, a silent alarm alerts medical personnel and they retrieve the baby within minutes. The baby will later be placed with either a foster or adoptive family, depending on state law.

“To that mother, I want to say that we loved that baby and we cared for that baby the moment we laid eyes on him and the moment we opened that door,” Chief Brian Hendricks. said at a news conference.

The Mehlville Safe Haven Box was installed thanks to legislation by Rep. Jim Murphy. “We know the value of these boxes in Missouri, and we are thankful that this mother was there when she needed it,” Murphy said. “The mother’s courageous decision to use the Safe Haven Baby Box is a testament to the life-saving impact of these initiatives.”

Monica Kelsey, the founder of the organization Safe Haven Baby Box, also praised the brave parents who put their child in the box.

“He can throw his child in the trash or trash. But he didn’t do it. He chose better. He basically said, ‘I want what’s best for my son and that’s not me.’ And that’s heroic,” Kelsey said.

The Mehlville Safe Haven Box is currently the only one located in the state of Missouri, although Chief Hendricks said another box is in the works for the second Mehlville location, and there are other districts in Missouri looking to add the boxes as well.

There are reportedly 200 baby boxes installed in various locations in the United States.

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