First Safe Haven Baby Box installed in Woodburn

WOODBURN, Ind. (AP): A Safe Haven Baby Box where mothers can drop off unwanted newborns anonymously with emergency help moments away is now available in northeastern Indiana.

The padded, climate-controlled container was dedicated Tuesday at the Woodburn Volunteer Fire Department about 15 miles east of Fort Wayne. It’s on an exterior wall of the fire station.

Baby box advocate Monica Kelsey is a volunteer at the fire department.

A second baby box is due to be dedicated Thursday in Michigan City.

The boxes are equipped with a security system that notifies emergency personnel when a baby is dropped off. Emergency responders can get to the child within minutes.

Indiana’s safe haven law allows mothers to drop off newborns with no questions asked at police stations, fire stations and hospitals.


  1. As the first “baby box” is unveiled in Indiana — in Woodburn — the group pushing their concept has again shrouded their work with disinformation and controversy.

    First it was a total lack of information about the concept, other than the emotional pitch that it “could save one life!” They NEVER told anyone about the successes of states like Massachusetts and our 90+% drop in abandonments!!

    When looked into with depth the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette found the reason behind the concept, and editorialized against the concept for the proven Baby Safe Haven law awareness program used in Massachusetts. Fort Wayne is the home region of the “baby boxes” advocate. They would know her best.


    When these implements have their roll-out there are too many unanswered questions that have to be posed to the proponents ahead of any possible usage.

    1, Have they been tested and approved by any independent testing laboratories. Babies should never go into or on to anything that doesn’t have a “UL Listed” type of status. That means an independent testing lab approved their usage for babies. They have 120 volts associated with them, in a metal container, that is half-way exposed to the elements. And they are not tested independently?

    2, If they are placed on a public building, which they will be, does that town/city/township have the proper insurance coverage for this implement. And if these “boxes” are not safety approved by anyone does the insurer know that? We’ve been told by cities and towns in our state that they would have their insurance rescinded if they did such a thing.

    3, If these “baby boxes” are installed in such remote areas, such as Woodburn, how are they expected to have any effect on the terrible numbers of abandonments in Indiana? Are they expecting young women to be counseled into using one by a pregnancy crisis group they are associated with? Other then that kind of referral it would be a lottery pick odds for anyone to utilize one of these “boxes.” (And don’t think we didn’t get this kind of scrutiny when we passed baby safe haven laws ten to fifteen years ago. Opponents claimed we would steer young women to them from such pregnancy crisis centers. Data proved them wrong. That same data shows the impossibility of these remote “boxes.”)


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