Infant less than 24 hours old surrendered to Safe Haven Baby Box

Safe Haven Baby Boxes are used to prevent illegal abandonment of a newborn and offer a safe...
Safe Haven Baby Boxes are used to prevent illegal abandonment of a newborn and offer a safe place for a mother-in-crisis to leave her infant.(ABC 7 Chicago / YouTube)
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 9:48 AM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Gray News) – A newborn less than 24 hours old was surrendered to a Safe Haven Baby Box in Arkansas on Tuesday night.

A spokesperson for the nonprofit organization confirmed the baby was left at the Benton Fire Department Station #3.

The infant was taken to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital to be checked out before the Department of Human Services took the baby into custody.

“I am so thankful this parent chose a safe option for their child. We may never know the reason they used this baby box, but we do know how much they loved their infant,” founder Monica Kelsey said.

Kelsey, who was abandoned as an infant, is making it her life’s mission to end infant abandonment and advocate for the Safe Haven Law.

The Baby Box has heating and cooling elements to provide comfort for the infant, along with silent alarms to notify first responders.

The newborn is attended to within five minutes, medically evaluated at the hospital and adopted within 30 to 45 days.

According to the organization, a total of seven infants have been surrendered so far in 2023, and a total of 29 have been surrendered since the inception of Safe Haven Baby Boxes in 2017.

“Women in crisis are trusting the organization that removes shame from a complicated decision to lovingly surrender an infant,” Safe Haven Baby Boxes said in a news release.

According to Benton Fire Chief Russ Evans, the baby was healthy and well cared for.

“It is my understanding the mother traveled from out of state to surrender her baby as her state does not offer this anonymous and safe option,” Evans told KTXS.

If you need help finding a Safe Haven location or would like to speak to a licensed counselor, call the National Safe Haven crisis hotline at 1-866-99BABY1.