MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — State lawmakers passed a house bill over the summer that enabled Safe Haven Baby Boxes to make their way to Alabama for the first time ever, and the arrival of those boxes is just around the corner.
These baby boxes will work to provide more options for people who may not be ready for parenthood and those who helped pass the bill are hoping it will be impactful.
“I hope that we can save a lot of babies’ lives,” said Kids to Love CEO and founder Lee Marshall.
Marshall worked with state lawmakers to bring baby boxes to Alabama, and she says the boxes will provide additional options for those who may not be ready to parent.
“I do believe with Roe versus Wade being overturned in the state of Alabama, you will have more women that choose to keep their babies, but may not be ready to parent,” Marshall said. “What we want to do is provide a safe alternative for those babies to safely get them in those baby boxes and then we can get them in the homes of potential adoptive families.”
Fire departments will be the designated surrender sites. These were the preferred destinations for the boxes because they’re typically manned 24 hours with first responders.
Each year, firefighters go through pediatric re-certification training, but with the arrival of baby boxes, Madison Fire and Rescue Chief David Bailey says they’ve been taking that training a step further.
“With this advent, we’ve stepped it up a little bit and worked with Madison Hospital and their L&D [labor and delivery] nurse has actually trained and sharpened our guys’ skills just a little bit higher and we’ve actually put together kits to keep babies warm,” Bailey said.
Bailey says once a baby arrives at the department, they will be evaluated before being taken to a local hospital. The chief says his department is thrilled to be a part of the effort. “This service will become handy. It [baby boxes] will become life-saving for these young infants and we want to be part of that as community servants,” Bailey told News 19.
As for Marshall, she’s hoping the baby boxes will be a solution for two areas of concern.
“I believe the Safe Haven Baby Boxes and us being able to safely get these babies into the hands of authorities will allow us to solve two problems,” Marshall said. “A social problem of children being abandoned, and also a problem of families wanting to grow.”
The first Safe Haven Baby Box could be available in Madison as soon as November, with Madison Fire and Rescue set to be among the first in the entire state to get them.