CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Over six months after a baby box was installed in Clarksville, a healthy newborn baby girl was surrendered just after 7 a.m. Sunday.
Safe Haven Baby Box has specially-designed boxes that provide a place for mothers in crisis to give up their babies anonymously without fear of legal consequences or harming their baby.
Alarms in the box alert officials when a baby has been placed inside. The organization said the child was left in the baby box at the Clarksville Fire Department.
"A healthy, beautiful baby girl was surrendered here yesterday morning by a very brave and selfless parent who chose this box for this child," said Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
One of the firefighters was able to get to the girl in a matter of seconds and get her to the hospital.
"The parent or parents of the child made a choice based on love and grace," Clarksville Fire Chief Brandon Skaggs said. "With a dedicated team and available resources, this choice has provided hope, love and a life for this child.
"It was a very emotional experience for the firefighters. And you know, we get to experience a lot of the end of life, and yesterday we experienced the beginning of life."
The Clarksville Safe Haven Baby Box opened on Oct. 16, 2020. More than 50 boxes have popped up all over Indiana including in Seymour and Corydon.
"This baby didn't have any parents with it," Skaggs said. "It didn't have any loved ones at the time that is was surrendered, but it only took about 15 seconds to gather three or four loved ones here. That baby now has forever love from the firefighters that served on yesterday."
The first box was installed in 2016, and since then, 10 babies in Indiana have been saved because of them, including this latest one.
"That’s the ultimate act of selflessness. I’m so thankful she chose a safe place to surrender her child and not in a dumpster or trash can like we see too many times," said Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
No other details were immediately provided about the baby, who will be placed in the custody of the Department of Child Services after being released from the hospital.
Officials with Safe Haven Baby Boxes say the process ensures the baby finds an adoptive family within 30-45 days. Anyone interested in adopting the baby is asked to contact their state's Department of Social Services and register as a foster and adoption family.
Linda Znachko, the founder of He Knows Your Name Ministry said the baby was " found wrapped in a towel placenta, umbilical cord and all." She offered a message Monday for the girl's mother.
"We hope she's watching this morning, she feels like she's getting reassurance that's she respected and loved and honored by us," she said.
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