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First Newborn Ever Surrendered to Florida's Only Safe Haven Baby Box: 'This Resource Saves Lives'

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As local laws regarding abortion and the issue of life continue to be hot topics, many are looking for practical solutions. One of those incredibly practical solutions is the creation of the Safe Haven Baby Box and the spearheading group’s intent behind their development.

“Safe Haven Baby Boxes mission is to prevent illegal abandonment of newborns by raising awareness, offering a 24-hour hotline for mothers in crisis and offering the Safe Haven Baby Boxes a last resort option for women who want to maintain complete anonymity,” the Safe Haven Baby Box website states.

Monica Kelsey started the movement in the United States after seeing a similar solution in Cape Town, South Africa. The organization now offers a national hotline for women in crises and spreads the word about the Safe Haven Law, which many still do not know about.

Their work honoring both mothers and babies in need has made an impact.

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“To date, the hotline has received over 8,000 calls from every state in the United States,” the website continued. “Safe Haven Baby Boxes has referred over 500 women to crisis pregnancy centers, assisted in 7 adoption referrals, and have had over 100 legal Safe Haven surrenders.

“Twenty-three babies have been surrendered in our Baby Boxes. Three babies were surrendered directly to firefighters at Safe Haven Baby Box locations.”

The Ocala Fire Rescue in Marion County, Florida, announced recently that the first newborn had been surrendered to their baby box, which was installed in 2020 and has been waiting, ready, ever since to accept the precious delivery.

“In December 2020, Ocala Fire Rescue became the first fire department in the state of Florida to unveil a Safe Haven Baby Box (SHBB) — a device that legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender a newborn who cannot be cared for,” the department shared in a post on Thursday.

“This morning, at a press conference at the MLK First Responder Campus — home of the SHBB — the arrival of the department’s first surrendered newborn was announced.”

“After experiencing our first surrendered child it’s clear that this resource saves lives,” Chief Clint Welborn said, according to WESH. “Knowing that Ocala’s Safe Haven Baby Boxes just saved a life is our greatest reward.”

Since 2020, Ocala is still the only location in all of Florida to offer a Safe Haven Baby Box, but perhaps after this event, more will follow suit.

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“We are so proud of this selfless parent who has lovingly surrendered their infant via a Baby Box over the holiday!” Kelsey said. “We are so happy this community was prepared for this situation. We know this baby will be so loved by an adoptive family and we are so thrilled to be a part of protecting infants from abandonment.”

“I’m so happy to hear of this miracle baby,” Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn added. “I knew when we did this in 2020, this day would come — we all did — we just didn’t know when. We’re glad it was there as a resource for the mother of this child. I’m sure there will be a bright future ahead for this precious child.”

Interested parties can help spread the word about Safe Haven Baby Boxes, donate towards the organization’s mission, or even work in their own communities to try to get baby boxes placed at more fire stations and hospitals.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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