Alabama recently got its first two Safe Haven Baby Boxes, which offer a safe way for a mother to surrender an infant — and one has already been used.
“We are thankful that the mother chose to surrender her baby in the safety of a box,” Kids to Love, a Madison County-based foster care foundation, wrote on their Facebook page Jan. 24. “We hope this encourages other cities and fire stations to work with us to install more boxes across the state of Alabama to save babies’ lives.”
One box is in Madison at Fire Station No. 1, and the other is in Prattville at Fire Station No. 4. Madison is the location that has already received an infant.
Eight more boxes coming
The vision behind the Safe Haven Baby Boxes is to keep desperate mothers from leaving their babies in unsafe places. The Alabama Legislature passed a bill last year that gave the green light for the boxes. It expanded a previous bill allowing mothers who can’t raise their babies to drop them off at hospitals, no questions asked.
The law stipulates that the Safe Haven boxes must be at locations that have at least one emergency medical worker present 24 hours a day. When someone leaves a baby in a Safe Haven Baby Box — which is climate controlled and installed in an exterior wall — it triggers an alert to firefighters and locks the box on the outside. On the other side of the wall, firefighters can access the infant and care for him or her.
Kids to Love provided the first two boxes and has funds from a donor to provide eight more.