It is a gift to be able to grow up, learn, make something of ourselves, and eventually grow old. But we must remember that this gift is only given to us by our parents, who sometimes go through the most difficult choices whilst trying to sort out their own lives.
Parenthood or the news of pregnancy is not a joyful moment for some, especially when it is unplanned, unprepared for, or forced upon someone without consent. Further choices become critical, not to one life, but multiple. and the impact on potential futures cannot be understated. What are the options for those who can’t care for their children?
This is a story of one person’s kindness that will potentially save dozens of lives in the years to come. It is an inspiration to us all. But what we shall look at are the broader issues: Why are babies being abandoned, what can we do to help, and how can we become part of the silver lining? Let’s get into it!
Safe Haven Baby Boxes helps mothers in need.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes is a nonprofit organization founded by MonicaKelsey that is meant to prevent the abandonment of newborns by giving desperate mothers a place to safely leave their children without having to be seen. They run a hotline for mothers in crisis and install safety drawers, which are similar to the boxes. There have been no dead infants in Indiana since the first box was installed.
Hunter Wart raised money for a baby box.
Hunter Wart was a teenager when he spent a year trying to raise money for a baby drop-off box. He was a junior at Columbus North High School in Indiana when he decided to raise money for a baby box as part of his senior project. His mother said it was a lot of work. The Safe Haven Baby Box was installed for the Seymour Fire Department thanks to the hard work of a man who was mowing lawns and scrapping metal for months.
A baby was left inside after it was installed.
Not too long after its installation, a newborn was left inside. A healthy baby girl, estimated to be an hour old at the time of dropoff, was safely surrendered in the box, immediately alerting firefighters to the infant’s presence. Chief Brad Lucas told CNN that they were ecstatic that the box was used, that it worked perfectly, and that they wanted to give the mothers and children a future.
An ambulance took the girl to the hospital after firefighters took care of her.
The firefighters took care of the baby until the ambulance arrived. The baby was going to be in the care of state child services workers once she was released from the hospital.
Mayor Matt Nicholson, who also got the news about the baby that Thursday afternoon in January 2020, said all he could do was smile and think about the fact that someone did exactly what they needed to do and didn’t leave their baby in a worse situation.
He said: “it’s a lifetime of difference in my mind. This child has a chance to go out and grow up and be a part of the world with a caring family.” The Chief and Mayor praised the mother for leaving the child in the Safe Haven Baby Box rather than abandoning her in unsafe conditions.
Hunter wants the girl to be named Baby Mia.
Hunter was presented with a pin as a token of appreciation for his hard work at the press conference. The teenager asked for the baby to be named Baby Mia. She has been referred to as Baby Mia ever since. Hunter is hoping that one day she will see the story of how she was safely surrendered in the Safe Haven Baby Box he raised money for and will find him online.
The founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes states that the initiative has helped prevent unnecessary deaths.
According to the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, at least two to three abandoned babies died in Indiana before the initiative was launched.
Monica says that the state has had no babies die since then. She told CNN, “these babies were left in trash cans and dumpsters. One was left at the door of a hospital. That baby had frozen to death before he was found.” She wants Baby Mia to know how much her mom loved her.
There have been 15 babies surrendered to Baby Boxes, and nationwide, over 100 surrenders have resulted from calls to the Safe Haven Baby Boxes national hotline.
The bigger picture is what we should look at. The boxes are needed in the first place.
The bigger picture of infant abandonment is as much about reproductive rights, sex education, and socio-economic concerns as it is about this story.
According to KFF, or Kaiser Family Foundation, The United States prohibits federal funding of abortions in most cases, and “in many states, hundreds of thousands of women seeking abortion services annually are left without coverage options—even when they are victims of rape or incest or if the pregnancy is determined to be a threat to their health.” The costs of having a child are more difficult to come up with for low-income women than abortions are.
Men are preparing spaces for new baby boxes.
The stigma surrounding abortions as a whole and the negative connotations surrounding Baby Boxes is not something that should be taken into account.
According to BBC, fathers’ rights groups say they allow only one parent to make the decision. The UN wants countries to offer more family planning and other support to address the root causes of abandonments, such as poverty, instead of using them.
Neonaticide is a deliberate act of a parent murdering their own child during the first 24 hours of life.
People are talking about how sad they are for the babies and the mothers.
Others are questioning anti-abortion groups.
The baby boxes are a no-shame option for all women.