Newborn baby found safe inside ‘safe haven baby box’ in Clarksville

Its creator says education and awareness around these boxes saves lives.
Its creator says education and awareness around these boxes saves lives.(WFIE)
Updated: May. 3, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) – A healthy newborn who was surrendered in a Safe Haven Baby Box in southern Indiana.

The baby girl was surrendered Sunday at the Clarksville Fire Station Number 1, on Stansifer Avenue.

Just after 7 a.m. Sunday, the baby was left inside the climate controlled baby box. She spent less than a minute there before a firefighter was able to care for her.

23 minutes later, after initial health checks, she was in her way to the hospital.

Clarksville Fire Chief Brandon Skaggs says it all worked exactly how it’s supposed to, calling it an emotional day for the firefighters involved.

“[Firefighters] get to experience a lot of the end of life, and yesterday, we experienced the beginning of life,” said Skaggs.

It’s the 10th time in Indiana one of these boxes has been used.

“The parent or parents of the child made a choice based on love and grace! With a dedicated team and available resources this choice has provided hope, love, and a life for this child,” Clarksville Fire Chief Brandon Skaggs said.

The baby will be placed in custody of the Department of Child Services once released from the hospital, and will find a home and a family in 30-45 days. There’s currently a waiting list to be adoptive parents of safe haven babies.

Baby surrendering advocates have said they’re proud of the mother and/or father that took the initiative to come to the baby box.

“We have resources for you, we honor you today,” said Safe Haven Baby Boxes Founder Monica Kelsey. “We are so thankful that you kept your child safe and allowed us to be here in your time of need.”

Fire officials said the baby was not in any distress.

The box was installed on Oct. 16, 2020 and allows parents to surrender their newborns without fear of facing criminal charges.

There are currently no safe haven baby boxes in Kentucky. However, it is legal for Kentucky residents to find and use a baby box in Indiana, where it is legal to surrender your baby, under 30 days of age, at baby boxes.

Kentucky just made these types of boxes legal in March.

For more information on how baby boxes work, click or tap here.

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