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Newborn baby left in 'safe haven box' and founders said it was 'just a matter of time'

Newborn baby left in 'safe haven box' and founders said it was 'just a matter of time'

The baby was found in Florida's only Safe Haven Baby Box

A newborn baby became the first to be left in a 'safe haven box' in Florida more than two years after it was installed for use by members of the public.

Ocala Fire Rescue shared a press release on 5 January to announce the arrival of the department's 'first surrendered newborn' following the introduction of the box in December 2020.

The box, located in Ocala, is the only one of its kind in Florida and 'legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender a newborn who cannot be cared for'.

At a press conference held the day the baby was found, Fire Chief Clint Welborn assured the newborn was safely recovered and transported to hospital.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes are climate controlled, and once the baby is surrendered the box is locked and sends an 'immediate signal' to notify firefighters that there is a child inside.

With the mother having surrendered the baby, it will now be put up for adoption.

The baby was the 23rd newborn to have been surrendered to a Safe Haven Baby Box in the United States, and founder Monica Kelsey praised the person who used the box in Florida this week.

In a statement, Kelsey commented: “The first thing that we want is we want to address the parents who legally surrendered this infant. And right now I’m going to talk directly to her or him.

"Thank you. Thank you for keeping your child safe. Thank you for bringing your child to a place that you knew was going to take care of this child. And thank you for doing what you felt was best.”

The babies remain in the boxes for an average of 90 seconds.
Ocala Fire Rescue/Facebook

She continued: "I’m sure this was not an easy option choose, but I want you to know that we’re honouring you today because I hope you find peace in knowing that your child is safe, your child is healthy, and your child will be placed with a set of adoptive parents, if it hasn't already.

"So know that the process has worked and I want you to find peace in what decision you made."

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn also expressed his appreciation for the box as he described the child found this week as a 'miracle baby', saying: "I knew when we did this in 2020, this day would come – we all did – we just didn't know when. We're glad it was there as a resource."

Kelsey estimated that babies surrendered to the boxes remain in there for an average of a minute and a half before they are taken in by authorities.

Featured Image Credit: Safe Haven Baby Boxes/Facebook

Topics: Parenting, Health