As dystopian as it sounds, Florida’s only baby box was used for the first time; if you’re not familiar with what one actually is, you’re probably not alone.
The box was originally designed and placed at the Ocala fire station by Monica Kelsey over two years ago.
Florida’s first and only baby box used for the first time
Being an abandoned child herself, Kelsey is aware of how much help abandoned children need and her Safe Haven Baby Boxes have allowed parents to anonymously surrender their children to the authorities.
A healthy baby was anonymously surrendered to a Safe Haven Baby Box at Ocala Fire Rescue Station #1. This is the first surrender in Florida and 23rd nationwide. OFR Station #1 is the only baby box location in Florida. pic.twitter.com/KHThzP880E
— Kristin Chase (@kristinchasetv) January 5, 2023
Of course, this only applies to infants; despite the project being launched in 2016, it took over a year for it to receive its first newborn.
This initial case happened in Indiana. After the project proved to be successful, 134 other baby boxes have been created across the nation, all of them placed in hospitals and fire stations.
In fact, Indiana already has the most of any state, and Kelsey claims there are plans to deploy more of them, if possible.
In order to protect the anonymity of the Florida infant, the organization refused to tell the exact date it was surrendered to the fire department’s baby box.
Michelle Oberman, a law professor at Santa Clara University touched on the matter, claiming it helps us avoid what we actually owe to those most impacted by the abortion bans.
OCALA, Fla. (WCJB/Gray News) – A healthy newborn baby was surrendered anonymously at a Safe Haven Baby Box location in Florida, making it the 23rd baby to be surrendered to a baby box since the organization’s inception in 2017 and the first of 2023.
— Jag Uar (@jaguarissleek) January 5, 2023
Was the box really necessary?
However, this isn’t any old regular box; it’s been painstakingly designed to protect the child inside from the elements and any outside interference.
Additionally, it features a silent alarm to alert the authorities the moment the box’s door is opened; upon arrival at the scene, the child is taken to receive medical attention.
After this is done, the infant is put up for adoption.
Currently, the organization receives around $300 every year from each of the locations for maintenance and recertification of the boxes. Kelsey announced that more of them will be deployed in Florida in the near future.
As someone who was brought home and adopted, eight days after being born in the NICU of @CrouseHealth, all women should have as many options as possible to do what is needed for them, and what is best for their situation and cultural traditions. https://t.co/QJFtFFm78w
— Pokemon Are Cool (@PokemonAreCool6) January 6, 2023
Despite being a major success, the boxes have been the subject of many controversies, even though they didn’t originate here in the US, but rather in South Africa, where Kelsey got the idea from.
In fact, Europe has had a similar system in place for centuries on end, with churches and other places of worship featuring rotating cribs for children to be left in.
The issue lies in the fact that the box allows people to surrender a child without both parents’ consent, although the positives are still there, as it allows for a one-time solution for those impacted by the abortion bans.
In the United States, safe haven laws have been implemented in all 50 states and allow parents to anonymously leave their newborn infants at designated safe locations, such as hospitals or fire stations, without fear of prosecution.