FROM LOCAL SOURCES
FERDINAND -- Memorial Hospital in Jasper has installed a Safe Haven Baby Box at the Ambulance Station in Ferdinand.
Officials held a dedication ceremony Thursday afternoon.
The boxes provide for a safe and legal surrender of a baby as an alternative to abandonment. It’s last resort for women in crisis who want to surrender a child while remaining anonymous.
Indiana’s 2000 Safe Haven Law allows parents to anonymously surrender their healthy newborn without fear of criminal prosecution at any fire station, police station or hospital as long as the child appears to be 30 days old or less and unharmed.
The new baby box is located at the Ambulance Station at 202 E. 3rd Street in Ferdinand.
“Safe Haven Baby Boxes works hard to ensure that every parent knows that this last resort option is available to them. We will not stop until every parent knows all their options including a Safe Haven surrender. We are proud to partner with the Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, which has also joined 45 other baby box locations. There is no doubt that the Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center is taking a proactive approach to infant abandonment in our country”, says Monica Kelsey.
Since 2016, there have been a total of 9 babies placed inside our baby boxes, with 5 of these taking place in 2020. This is just one of the pieces of the puzzle that makes Safe Haven Baby Boxes such an impactful mission. The organization also has been educating students and raising awareness in communities across America as well as providing crucial emergency personnel training on how to best respond to both mother and child in this situation.
The Safe Haven Baby Boxes National 24-hour hotline (1-866-99BABY1) offers counseling services to a parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their newborn. Nationwide, 83 surrenders have resulted from calling the Safe Haven Baby Boxes National 24-hour hotline.
“The opportunity for Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center to support the presence of a Safe Haven Baby Box in our service area aligns with our mission as we care for the communities we serve, and we are thankful to be part of this wonderful initiative. We know our collective efforts will have been worth it if one child’s life is saved”, says E. Kyle Bennett, President and CEO of Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center.