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 Indiana may adopt 'baby boxes'

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PostSubject: Indiana may adopt 'baby boxes'    Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:06 pm

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Abandoning a newborn baby is an act of desperation that some mothers see as their only option. Indiana officials want to make it safe for both mom and baby. (Photo: michaeljung/Shutterstock)

The real tragedy about baby abandonment is that no one knows how many babies are lost to it each year. But what experts do know is that it happens in every community and at every social and economic level across the U.S. And every baby that is lost to abandonment is one too many.

That is why the state of Indiana is taking a unique approach to the problem, with a new plan to create safe, anonymous locations for mothers to drop off babies without fear of legal action or harm to the baby. If the plan is approved, Indiana will become the first state to establish Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Essentially, these "boxes" will serve as newborn incubators until help arrives to take care of the baby.

Of course, in an ideal situation, these baby boxes would never be needed. But the fact remains that despite programs that focus on safe sex or crisis pregnancy intervention, there will still be women who for whatever reason feel their only choice is to abandon their newborn babies. Safe Haven Laws that already exist in all 50 states and the District of Columbia allow mothers to legally abandon their babies at hospitals, fire stations and police stations without fear of prosecution as long as the baby has not been harmed in any way.

According to the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation in Chicago, safe haven laws have resulted in more than 2,800 safe surrenders since the laws were first enacted in 1999. But in that same time period, more than 1,400 other children have been found illegally abandoned. And two-thirds of those babies eventually died as a result.

The goal of Indiana's baby box program would be to provide an anonymous location for mothers to drop off their babies when they feel they have no other choice. The concept of a baby box is not a new one. A few hundred years ago, revolving doors known as "foundling wheels" were located in the front of many convents. Here, young mothers could drop off babies and rotate the door to ensure that their child was safely inside.
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Save Haven Baby Box prototype

Indiana's Safe Haven boxes would not have a revolving door, but they would have sensors that would alert 9-1-1 staff when the door is opened and when a weight is placed inside. They would also likely include a silent alarm that mothers could push to be sure that their child is picked up as quickly as possible.

Critics argue that many women who attempt to abandon their babies simply need medical care or financial support — assistance that could be provided to them if they were handing their babies over to professionals trained to ask the right questions. But proponents counter that if even one baby can be kept alive by anonymous abandonment, it is worth making it an option.

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PostSubject: Re: Indiana may adopt 'baby boxes'    Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:09 am

I guess it's a good option, but it's just sad to think a woman is so desperate that she has no other options. :(
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PostSubject: Re: Indiana may adopt 'baby boxes'    Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:14 pm

I don't know how I feel about this. I think other places have these but I just don't know. I see people opening and shutting the box just to fuck with it and putting rocks inside to set the sensors off. I think resources would be wasted in emergency teams whether it's the police, paramedics or firemen who will respond to the calls when the sensor goes off.

I'm sure that there is an expected time frame that the baby should be picked up so that he/she doesn't get hurt. But this is Indiana, our summers can be above 100 degrees and our winters sub zero. If a baby is left in conditions like those, in a closed space it could be dire within minutes.

Also, how big are these boxes? Are they meant for infants? I see people trying to squeeze a 8 month old in a box meant for a newborn, not everyone has common sense and I see it happening.

So like I said, I just don't know. I think they have the right intentions, I just don't think this is fool proof. I know that they have laws allowing mothers to drop off their infants (I want to say up to three months old) off to any hospital, fire or police station and there are not any questions asked. That is by far better then using a box that might endanger the child, maybe my state should just make a new law allowing it to be used for children up to a year old.
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PostSubject: Re: Indiana may adopt 'baby boxes'    Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:11 pm

I think it's a good idea. It beats having the babies left in random bathrooms, etc. It probably would be nice to be able to ask the mom why she was needing to leave her child but if that was mandatory, there would probably not be babies left there as most want to do it anonymously, they're desperate for whatever reasons and don't know what else to do but offer the chance for a better life than the one she is able to provide possibly.
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Indiana may adopt 'baby boxes'

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