Baby legally surrendered under Safe Haven Law at Syracuse fire station

3rd baby surrendered in Indiana this year
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 11:31 AM EDT
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SYRACUSE, Ind. (WNDU) - A baby was legally surrendered under Indiana’s Safe Haven Law at a fire station in Michiana earlier this month.

During a press conference on Friday, officials with Safe Haven Baby Boxes say the baby was handed over by the mother to a firefighter at Turkey Creek Fire Territory Station 1 in Syracuse. Officials did not give an exact day or time for when the baby was surrendered.

It’s the third surrender of a newborn this year in the state of Indiana, and the second here in Michiana. Two newborns were previously surrendered in Elkhart County and Indianapolis within 48 hours of each other.

According to its website, the Safe Haven Baby Boxes organization’s primary goal is to raise awareness of the Safe Haven Law in Indiana, which allows mothers to safely surrender their baby anonymously if they are no older than 30 days old.

“Each time we get a call that a baby has been surrendered, we know that the birth mother has lovingly surrendered their child in hopes of them having a better life,” said Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, in a press release. “We are proud of this brave mother. It is a joy to see the Safe Haven Law working to protect women in crisis and their infants from abandonment.”

The newborn surrenders in Elkhart County and Indianapolis involved the utilization of baby boxes, which are safe incubators that have alarm systems, so 911 is notified as soon as a baby is placed inside. While the baby boxes are a safe and legal method of surrendering newborns, officials said during Friday’s press conference that they should be used as a last resort.

In the latest newborn surrender, officials say the mother chose to not drop her baby off in the baby box in Syracuse and instead handed her baby over directly to a firefighter inside the station.

“While we understand that the surrender of a baby is a difficult decision to make, our department is proud to be available as an option when and if this decision must be made under the Indiana Safe Haven Law,” said Fire Chief Mickey Scott in a press release.

Any questions about adoption can be made to the Health and Family Services at 800-403-0864.