Senator Donato headshotFor most of us, the idea of abandoning our newborn baby is unimaginable, but the unfortunate reality is that some parents believe it is their only option.

Thankfully, here in Indiana we have created a safe option for parents who feel they can’t care for their new baby.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes are safety incubators in which an infant can be safely surrendered. Sensors on the bed will immediately alert emergency medical service providers that a baby has been placed in the box. This allows a person to surrender an infant safely and anonymously without fear of arrest or prosecution. As long as there are no signs of intentional abuse on the baby, no information is required of the person. 

Currently, there are 21 Safe Haven Baby Box locations in Indiana, the most of any state in the country, and four infants have been safely surrendered in the last six months.

The boxes are installed at fire stations and hospitals where emergency medical service providers are located 24/7. When firefighters and medical professionals are notified of a baby being placed in a box, they transport the infant to a nearby hospital. Once the baby is examined and, if needed, given medical treatment, the Indiana Department of Child Services will take the baby into custody and place the child with a caregiver.

Protecting our Hoosier children remains a priority for me, and I believe the Safe Haven Law is an important option to protect a young life if a desperate parent feels they have nowhere else to turn.