Safe Haven Baby Boxes Announce First Newborn Surrendered Inside Benton Baby Box

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First Newborn in Arkansas Legally Surrendered Inside a Baby Box Since its Installation in September 2019

Safe Haven Baby Boxes

Safe Haven Baby Boxes

The Safe Haven Baby Boxes organization provides new resources for a completely anonymous surrender option to parents who may have fear or feel shame that is associated with a surrender.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes representatives announce the first newborn was legally surrendered in the state under Arkansas’s safe haven law in a Safe Haven Baby Box at Fire Station #3 in Benton. The Safe Haven Baby Box at this fire station was the first to be available in Arkansas last September and was the 15th Safe Haven Baby Box to be installed in the United States. This is the 7th newborn to be surrendered inside a Safe Haven Baby Box since November 2017.

“The Safe Haven Baby Boxes organization provides new resources for a completely anonymous surrender option to parents who may have fear or feel shame that is associated with a surrender,” says Founder and CEO, Monica Kelsey, who was also abandoned at birth. “We continue to provide this necessary resource of anonymity with 25 active locations and more planned in the coming months. The Safe Haven Baby Box is for women who may be considering this as their only option for a safe surrender,” says Kelsey.

The Arkansas Safe Haven law (A.C.A. § 9-34-201) allows a parent to bring a child, 30 days old or younger to an employee at any hospital emergency room, manned fire station or law enforcement agency without facing prosecution for endangering or abandoning a child. A parent can also use a safety device (Baby Box) that is installed in the exterior wall of a fire station or hospital to ensure 100% anonymity for the parent. Once a baby is surrendered, the Arkansas Department of Human Services will facilitate an adoption for the baby to be placed in a permanent and loving home.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes’ mission is to raise awareness of Safe Haven laws, provide support and resources to mothers in crisis, and ultimately to end infant abandonment. The National Safe Haven Crisis hotline (1-866-99BABY1) provides counseling and resources to pregnant women who may be considering a surrender. Since 2016, the hotline has received over 5,000 calls nationwide and from Canada.

Representatives from Safe Haven Baby Boxes, Benton Fire Department, and the Mayor of Benton will be holding a Press Conference Friday morning at 10:30am at Benton Fire Station #3 located at 2717 Edison Ave, Benton AR 72015.

How Can You Help?

After recovering the first surrendered baby in Indiana, many communities rallied to make these life saving resources more accessible, reaching 21 boxes built across the state in just two years. We believe Arkansas should have the same accessibility. Help us install 20 more boxes in Arkansas today! Visit our website for how you can help: http://www.shbb.org/arkansas.

For more information visit our website at http://www.SHBB.org or call 1-888-742-2133.

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Monica Kelsey
Safe Haven Baby Boxes
+1 (317) 840-6375
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