This is so shocking! A town in Indiana has installed two Safe Haven Baby Boxes for mothers who wish to get rid of their unwanted newborns in total anonymity. But while some view the system as a lifesaver, others have criticized it, considering it an inhumane practice.
On the outside it looks like a metal breadbox, but on the inside, you’ll find a cushioned, temperature-controlled cell where babies can anonymously be left by mothers who wish to abandon them. Sounds controversial, right? And that’s because it is! What started in Europe has now made its way to the U.S. — starting in Indiana — and although some claim these baby boxes will save newborns’ lives, others worry it makes abandoning a child WAY too easy.
Indiana has become the first state in the U.S. to introduce “baby hatches” or baby drop-off boxes where mothers can leave unwanted newborns in safety. The boxes are climate controlled, padded, and feature a security system that alerts all nearby emergency service workers when a baby is placed in one, according to the AP. And once the boxes have a baby inside, they are locked and cannot be opened from the outside.
The idea is that babies placed in the safe haven box will be tended to much quicker than if new parents discard of them in a different manner. But still, placing an infant in something that resembles a mailbox? It’s a wild concept to try and comprehend. However, over in Europe they’ve been using baby drop-off boxes for 16 years!
The baby box actually goes all the way back to medieval times in Italy, where “foundling wheels” would be placed in homes so that women could leave their babies in secret rather than killing them. SO awful. Obviously a baby drop-off box is a much better solution than simply abandoning your baby on the side of the road, and that’s exactly what advocates argue. Plus, these anonymous drop-off points, located on the side of fire stations, help mothers remain protected under safe haven laws.
However, critics argue that the boxes have no impact on infanticide rates and that a lot of the time it’s not the mother who is actually the one placing these babies in the box — it’s the mom’s relatives or the father who abandons the baby without the mother’s consent. And on top of that, some claim that this now gives parents an easy out for abandoning their newborns without a second thought.
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Monica Kelsey, a volunteer with the fire department, has been advocating for baby boxes in Indiana for years. “This is not criminal,” Kelsey told the Associated Press. “This is legal. We don’t want to push women away.”
What do you think about these baby drop-off boxes, HollywoodLifers? Are they totally awful or a brilliant idea?