‘Mailboxes’ Being Installed To Leave Babies That Parents Don’t Want.

‘Mailboxes’ Being Installed To Leave Babies That Parents Don’t Want.

Every year, we hear heartbreaking stories of newborn babies abandoned in precarious locations. From doorsteps to apartment complexes, strip malls, and even the outdoors, these innocent lives are left vulnerable to the elements, often with tragic consequences. However, the situation can be different. In the United States, every state has enacted Safe Haven laws to provide a secure option for parents to relinquish their newborns without fear of prosecution. Here are some essential insights into these laws that you may not be aware of.

While Safe Haven laws generally allow parents to remain anonymous, it’s not always completely so. Monica Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, emphasizes that despite the law stating parents can surrender their baby anonymously at any hospital, it may not be entirely accurate. In some cases, parents prefer not to engage in a face-to-face interaction and may leave their child outside a designated facility like a fire station or hospital. However, if the baby isn’t physically handed over to a person, it could still be considered abandonment.

To address the root of the issue, it’s vital to provide expectant mothers with the necessary resources and information well before a crisis occurs. This ensures they are aware of their options and can make informed decisions for themselves and their babies.

To enhance anonymity, Safe Haven Baby Boxes were introduced. These secure devices are typically installed at fire stations or hospitals. When a baby is placed inside, an alarm is triggered, notifying personnel that immediate attention is required. These boxes are equipped with temperature control features to keep the child safe until help arrives, typically within three minutes. Furthermore, there are no cameras near these boxes, alleviating concerns about surveillance.

Safe Haven laws do vary from state to state. Approximately 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico do not prosecute parents for child abandonment when a baby is relinquished to a Safe Haven. In 16 states, safe relinquishment of the infant is considered an affirmative defense in any prosecution of the parent or their agent for any child-related crime.

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