The state of Indiana has installed two "baby boxes" where mothers can anonymously drop off unwanted newborns as an extension of the state's safe haven law. Two Safe Haven Baby Boxes were opened to the public recently at Indiana fire stations as part of an initiative to give mothers in crisis a secure place to surrender their babies, said Monica Kelsey, a volunteer firefighter and founder of the nonprofit that created the boxes. "I was abandoned as an infant back in 1973, so I've always been very close to the safe haven law," she told NBC News on Thursday.The first box was installed last week on the exterior wall of the fire department in Woodburn, near Fort Wayne, where Kelsey volunteers. When a person opens the baby box, a call is immediately placed to 911, and fire and medical personnel are dispatched to the scene. The box is padded and climate controlled to keep the baby warm while still allowing air circulation, Kelsey said, and automatically locks once a person leaves the child and shuts the door.The box is also equipped with motion sensors that trigger a second 911 call after detecting movement inside, she said. Fire and medical officials would then look the baby over and transport him or her to a local hospital for evaluation, Kelsey said. The child is then placed in the custody of the Indiana's Child Protective Services, she said.
A second box was made available one week ago at the fire department in Michigan City, a community on the Lake Michigan coast.While they have yet to receive any abandoned babies through the boxes, Kelsey said she has received dozens of calls through her nonprofit's hotline this week. Many of the calls are women seeking information about services such as adoption referrals throughout the country, as well as people seeking more information about the boxes themselves, NBC reports.