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How Are Newborns Who Are Relinquished at Birth Kept Safe?

In 1999, Texas became the first U.S. state to tackle the problem of abandoned babies, some of whom were being left in trash bins or suffering other ghastly fates after being born outside the hospital system. The state enacted what was known as a Baby Moses Law, a safe-haven law designed to save lives by encouraging parents to surrender infants safely. In 2016, activist Monica Kelsey took that idea a step further when she convinced Indiana to install Safe Haven Baby Boxes at fire stations. A mother who wants to surrender her baby safely and anonymously can now simply place the infant in a baby hatch, which typically resembles a bank’s night deposit box.

A safe place for abandoned infants:

  • Here’s how the system typically works: When a person opens the baby box, a call is immediately placed to 911, and fire and medical personnel are dispatched. When closed, the box locks automatically.
  • The box is padded and climate controlled to keep the baby warm while still allowing air circulation. The baby gets immediate attention, and typically becomes a candidate for adoption later on.
  • Supporters say safe-haven laws provide an alternative to abortion, infanticide or unsafe child abandonment. Detractors argue that the laws, now in force nationwide, favor mothers and sometimes violate a father’s rights.
Discussion Comments
By anon1003076 — On Apr 27, 2020

1999? LOL, this was implemented in India in 1991 - to combat female infanticide, where in new born female infants would be snatched and murdered by the 'father' (or his family), sometimes condoned by the mother too (who would have been trained into believing that it is her duty to birth a male child, and it is a sin to burden her husband with a female child, OR who would decide that killing her now is more merciful than letting her grow up & suffer like she (the mother) is suffering now). This was the idea of the then chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu, where some districts were seeing huge numbers of such infanticides.

Anyone asking for 'evidence' can loookup "Thottil Kuzhandhai Thittam" (translation: cradle baby scheme).

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