Indiana Senate passes baby box bill

A prototype of a baby box, where parents could surrender their newborns anonymously, is shown outside the fire station in Woodburn, Ind., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The box is actually a newborn incubator, or baby box, and it could be showing up soon at Indiana hospitals, fire stations, churches and other selected sites under legislation that would give mothers in crisis a way to surrender their children safely and anonymously. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) The Indiana Senate has passed a bill that would allow baby boxes at fire departments across the state. Tuesday, state senators voted 47-0 to pass the bill introduced by State Senator Travis Holdman, a Republican from Markle.

baby box allows a person to safely and anonymously use the safe haven law, and leave a newborn at a fire department. The boxes have two doors with alarms and are heated on the inside by an incubator.

Indiana has two of the newborn boxes in the state, which Holdman’s bill aims to expand. He wants fire departments that are staffed 24/7 to have the option to install them.

“We want to save lives and respond to new mothers that are concerned about anonymity,” said Holdman.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

Monica Kelsey, Founder of the Safe Haven Baby boxes explained “I’m a medic and firefighter for the state of Indiana and I was abandoned as an infant. You can see where my passion comes from…no child should ever feel unwanted. No child should ever be left in an unsafe place.”

Kelsey explained the bill would be an expansion of the Safe Haven law that allows someone to give up an unwanted infant at a hospital or place like a fire department.
Holdman said a baby in Michigan City, Indiana was put into a baby box and was rescued within minutes, in November. That baby, he said, was recently adopted.