HAMMOND — A newborn was surrendered in a Safe Haven Baby Box in northern Indiana less than a month after it went operational.
The Safe Haven Baby Box in Hammond went live on August 7, 2019. The infant was surrendered into the box on September 6, just 30 days later.
The infant was the 59th baby surrendered in the state of Indiana under the Safe Haven Law.
Monica Kelsey with Safe Haven Baby Boxes says the mother did not contact the hotline before surrendering her infant, although they have been in contact with the mother since the surrender happened.
"She was not from Indiana, she was from Illinois. Illinois does not have a Safe Haven Baby Box Law, which offers anonymity," Kelsey said. "They have a Safe Haven Law where you have to walk in and physically hand the child off to a person, they're going to ask you some questions, but they don't have the baby box law which offers anonymity. So when we put the box there in Hammond right on the Indiana-Illinois line it became clear that women in Chicago needed this option because we were getting a ton of calls from Chicago and Illinois."
The newborn was released to the hospital and is now in the custody of the Department of Child Services so the standard safe haven surrender process can begin and they can help find the infant her new forever family.
“I want to personally thank the brave mother that carried her child to term, kept her safe, and then exercised her rights under the safe haven law and surrendered her newborn in our box. She is healthy and perfect," Kelsey said.
Hear more about the surrender from Monica Kelsey in the video below.