MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — For the first time, an infant has been surrendered to an Alabama fire station.
Several organizations and the City of Madison are now telling struggling parents that they have the option to offer their child a different life.
“We felt like it was important for us to give moms a safe choice,” said Kids to Love Founder Lee Marshall.
Before June 2023, the legal pathway to surrender an infant ended 72 hours after birth. Now Alabama mothers have 45 days and two locations where they can anonymously place an infant in the state’s care.
On Monday afternoon, a mother placed her baby in the Safe Haven Baby Box located at Fire Station 1 in Madison. The alarm system immediately notified the firefighters inside the station.
“We were able to do a good assessment, vital check, etc., and many of us were able to hold the baby for a few minutes,” said Madison Fire Chief Dave Bailey.
Monica Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Box said she knows the decision to surrender a child is incredibly difficult, but she wants the mother to know her baby is safe and well cared for.
“Your child is healthy, and the process is already working to make sure the process of finding your baby a home has worked,” Kelsey said.
The baby is currently in the care of the Madison County Department of Human Resources, and a team is working to place her with an adoptive family. While it is a nearly impossible decision to make, those involved in taking care of this baby girl say this is the system working.
“What our hope is is that other municipalities will partner with us so we can bring even more baby boxes to the state of Alabama,” Marshall said.
The Prattville Fire Department located at 820 N Old Ridge Road also has an operational baby box. Marshall said more baby boxes will likely soon be available in cities across the state.
Safe Haven offers a crisis line for mothers that you can text or call at 1-866-992-2291. The caller will speak with a licensed therapist. For more information about your legal rights, medical services and other resources, visit Safe Haven’s website.