After learning that she was abandoned as an infant, Monica Kelsey founded Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Now, in this viral TikTok, she's showing moms in need and other communities how it works.

By Maressa Brown
April 05, 2021
Midtown firehouse
Credit: Getty Images

It's been 22 years since the first Safe Haven law was established in Texas, and 12 years since all 50 states enacted their own version of the law, which provides parents of newborn babies who are unwilling or unable to care for a child to relinquish parental rights safely and anonymously within a certain time frame. One of the ways they can do that in some states is by leaving their child in a safe, legal baby box, like the Safe Haven Baby Boxes that recently went viral on TikTok.

In the viral clip, the founder of the company Monica Kelsey breaks down what a Safe Haven Baby Box is and how it works. Safe Haven Baby Boxes are installed at either local fire departments or hospitals. They're electronically monitored and are equipped with silent alarms that notify authorities as soon as the door opens and once a baby is inside. The parent in need can then place their child inside the baby box's bassinet, retrieve a Safe Haven Baby Box orange bag which includes resources for surrendering parents, then close the door, after which it cannot be opened again from the outside. Then, emergency responders retrieve the baby from a door on the inside of their facility, evaluate the child, and take them to the ER.

According to the Safe Haven Baby Box website, boxes like these are a part of safe haven laws in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

Kelsey was inspired to create the boxes after learning she was abandoned as an infant and seeing a "baby box" operation at a church in Cape Town, South Africa. There are now 60 baby box locations in multiple states and six baby drawers in Arizona.

The company founder told WRTV Indianapolis last year that parents who surrender their infants "come from all walks of life." "We have had a registered nurse come through our program, a mom with four kids, a single mom, and career dads," she noted. "This option of surrendering is available to anyone who finds themselves in a crisis if they feel this is the best option for them. After a mom calls us, the first thing she wants to know is 'is my baby safe and is my baby healthy.' That speaks volumes about these moms. These moms absolutely love their children; they are just in a crisis that you or I may not understand."

The organization's main focus is on raising awareness about safe haven laws and protect newborn babies.

For more information on safe haven locations, visit the National Safe Haven Alliance, call 1-888-510-BABY, or text SAFEHAVEN to 313131.

Comments (1)

April 7, 2021
Safe Haven Baby Boxes is not affiliated with the National Safe Haven Alliance. NSHA actively opposes the use of Safe Haven Baby Boxes as do every adoptee civil rights and adoption reform organization in the US.