Let’s talk about baby boxes again, since it went so well last time.
The Safe Haven Baby Box CEO is flying into Arkansas this morning to celebrate, in person, another Benton baby box baby. This week’s surrendered newborn is reportedly the third left in the Benton box since it was installed in 2019.
Social media posts indicate Safe Haven CEO and founder Monica Kelsey will be on hand for the 2 p.m. press conference. Kelsey travels frequently to spread the word about these contraptions, climate-controlled and rigged with alarms, that aim to make it easier for anyone to surrender a baby with no legal consequences and no questions asked.
Laws exist in all 50 states clearing the way for newborn surrenders to happen even without the fancy boxes, although they’re arguably a nice perk. The Arkansas Department of Human Services offers this guidance:
A parent who does not want an infant or who is unable to care for an infant can give up custody of a baby 30 days or younger legally and anonymously to an employee at any hospital emergency room, law enforcement agency, or fire department that is staffed 24 hours a day. Babies also can be placed in a newborn safety device. When a baby is dropped off, no information is required.
Arkansas has 15 baby boxes across the state.
Here’s the full press release from Safe Haven Baby Boxes:
3rd Baby Surrendered in Benton, AR Baby Box
BENTON, ARKANSAS (MAY 31, 2023)- Safe Haven Baby Boxes’ 31st surrender
via Baby Box occurred in Benton, AR earlier in the week. The Benton Baby Box
was the first in Arkansas in September of 2019. More details will be shared at the
press conference which will occur on June 1st at 2 PM CST. The event will occur at
the Benton Fire Station #3 located at 2717 Edison Ave., Benton, Arkansas 72015.
Earlier this month a surrender occurred at this location. The first baby was
surrendered in May of 2020. Safe Haven Baby Boxes is the only organization that
allows for complete anonymous surrender. It is changing lives and protecting babies
from abandonment. There have been a record 10 babies surrendered this far this
Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes explained, “Arkansas has 15
Baby Boxes and is one of the states leading the nation in being prepared for an
anonymous surrender. We are pleased this mother trusted us to help her in her
moment of crisis. We know she loves her baby and know there is an adoptive family
who has been eagerly awaiting this blessing.”
More information will be shared at the event.
Some of you guys got really agitated the last time we talked about Safe Haven Baby Boxes. For the record, we’re not shaming parents for putting babies in those boxes. We’re shaming American society for teeing parents up for a scenario in which putting a newborn in a box built into the side of a fire station and hoping for the best is their most promising option. Sex ed, birth control, health care for new mothers, stigma-free adoptions and yes, even abortion access, should all be on the table as options, too.