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Carmel leaders to give update after newborn surrendered at fire station baby box

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Officials in Carmel will give an update Wednesday about the latest baby box surrender. 

Carmel firefighters say an infant was placed in the Safe Haven Box at Fire Station No. 345 earlier this week. A news conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at 10701 N. College Ave. in Carmel.

According to Safe Haven, this marks the 14th baby box surrender nationwide this year. It’s also the fourth surrender in Carmel in just over a year — the most for any baby box in the country.

“The Carmel Fire Department and our Firefighters are honored to be entrusted with this fourth baby in our Safe Haven Baby Box. We applaud this mother for having the courage and love to surrender her baby into a safe and secure environment,” Carmel Fire Chief David Haboush said in a release.

Monica Kelsey, a Safe Haven representative, talked about the surrender in a Facebook video.

“We have had four babies in one box. And people say that these boxes aren’t worth it.”

Kelsey added that on Tuesday, she was blessing Safe Haven Baby Box 157 in Missouri — a sign that their work is saving lives.

A Safe Haven Baby Box is a safety device allowed under a state’s Safe Haven Law. It allows mothers in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender their newborn if they are unable to care for it.

Each baby box is installed in an exterior wall of a designated fire station or hospital. These locations are accessible from the outside of the building and are equipped with silent alarms so people can surrender newborns with no questions asked.  

The baby box has an exterior door that automatically locks once a newborn is placed inside. Its interior door allows a medical staff member to take the newborn out.

There are baby boxes in Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

Two newborns were surrendered at Indiana baby boxes in two days earlier this year.

Click here to see current baby box locations and find the nearest Safe Haven Baby Box.

Anyone needing help finding a baby box location or who wants to speak to a licensed counselor can call the National Safe Haven crisis hotline at 1-866-99BABY1.