A baby box will be installed at the Life Center in South Bend once the unit is complete.
The boxes act as incubators to protect babies who are abandoned under the state’s Safe Haven law. Indiana law allows parents of unwanted newborns to give up their babies at fire stations, police departments and hospitals. The baby boxes aim to keep those parents anonymous and their babies safe.
In June, Department of Child Services Director Mary Beth Bonaventura wrote a letter to the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes questioning the safety of the device. She also said the agency would have to investigate the use of such a box as a case of child abandonment.
Safe Haven Baby Box Founder Monica Kelsey responded by establishing a fund to defend parents who surrender their children using the devices. She says she plans to keep installing the boxes throughout the state.
“We don’t have time to pontificate any longer with regulators,” Kelsey said in a statement. “We are hopeful, however, that the legislature will clear the path of any encumbering regulators so that baby boxes can expand throughout Indiana and beyond.”
Kelsey already installed two baby boxes in northern Indiana in April.