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Newborn surrendered at KY ‘baby box’; first ever for state

Kaira Renee Andrews, first baby of 2009, born at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan. (DVIDS)
February 22, 2023

A baby has been anonymously surrendered, saved, and rescued for the first time ever with a newly installed Safe Haven Baby Box in Kentucky. 

The Safe Haven Baby Box organization installs temperature-controlled and alarm-monitored boxes in hospitals, police stations, and fire stations to create a safer and effective method for surrendering an infant. 

According to Live Action, Monica Kelsey, founder of the Safe Haven Baby Box organization, highlighted at a press conference that the infant was tended to within 90 seconds of its anonymous surrender.

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Kelsey stated, “This child was left safely and legally in this baby box so that the baby could be pulled from the other side by the firefighter,” adding, “The fire department did exactly what they were trained to do, and it worked flawlessly.”

Kelsey also delivered a message for the parent who anonymously surrendered the infant, stating, “Thank you for doing what you felt you could for the life of this child.”

“This baby is healthy. This baby is beautiful. This baby is perfect. And the Department of Child Services is now looking for a forever home for this family,” she said. “If this parent is out there and they want the resources of counseling or medical care, it is available for you at no cost.”

Kelsey, who was abandoned as a child herself, started the organization to create an easier and more effective method for parents wishing to remain anonymous. The organization has safely surrendered 24 infants since the year 2016.

The “Safe Haven Baby Box Law,” signed in 2021 by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, allows for the installation of the baby boxes and for parents to use them up to 30 days after a baby is born. Kentucky now has 16 baby boxes in various locations, and last week marked the first instance one such box was used. 

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Kentucky State Rep. Nancy Tate, who championed the bill’s passage, stated: “It makes my heart full to know how supportive this project is,” adding that her goal is to have one Safe Haven Baby Box in every county in Kentucky.