FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Press Release) – The first Safe Haven Baby Box installed in Fort Wayne was dedicated at Lutheran Downtown Hospital Friday.
Lutheran Health Network and hospital leadership, representatives from Safe Haven Baby Boxes, members of local public safety agencies and elected officials gathered outside the ambulance bay at the hospital, 702 Van Buren St., to dedicate the baby box.
“Lutheran Health Network is committed to providing care for the most vulnerable in our community and proud to partner with organizations in those efforts,” said Twilla Lee, Lutheran Downtown Hospital CEO. “While we hope this is a resource we never see used, it is comforting that our hospital can provide an option for any woman in our community who feels like she is in a hopeless situation.”
The hospital partnered with Safe Haven Baby Boxes to install the device, which provides a mother in crisis an option to safely, securely and anonymously surrender her infant under Indiana’s Safe Haven Law. The hospital’s medical team will monitor the box 24-hours-a-day and are trained on how to safely handle a surrendered infant.
“We are so thrilled to finally have a Safe Haven Baby Box in Fort Wayne,” said Monica Kelsey, Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder. “We know this will be an invaluable resource permitting anonymous surrender for mothers in crisis and their infants. Last month we saw three Indiana mothers utilize our Baby Boxes and are proud Fort Wayne mothers in crisis will have this opportunity if they need it.”
Kelsey demonstrated how the baby box works and spoke briefly about the mission of the organization. Eighteen infants have been placed in a baby box since 2017 and 119 surrenders have occurred nationwide from parents who have used the National Safe Haven Baby Box hotline at 1-866-99BABY1.
Visit shbb.org for more information on Safe Haven Baby Boxes locations and additional resources.