Baby Boxes are Safe Havens on steroids.
Not satisfied with anonymous abandonment through Safe Haven programs, new groups have emerged separate from the Safe Haven Movement to help “desperate mothers” who fear being seen dropping off newborns at Safe Haven sites such as hospitals or fire departments, by giving them a new/old “choice” of a baby box where they can dump their newborns without the intrusion and inconvenience of having to do a face-to-face turnover required by Safe Haven laws. Such boxes, (also known as Baby Wheels and Baby Flaps) were used extensively from the Middle Ages through the late 19th century in Europe and were done away with as systemized public and private child welfare sytems developed. They have lately made a comeback in Europe and are popular in Asia and Africa A handful exist in Arizona and Californa but are seldom if ever used. To take the sting out of Baby Box history, Baby Boxers have renamed them “infant safety incubators.”
So far two Baby Box groups have emerged:
Safe Haven Baby Boxes based in Indiana, is headed by Indiana EMT and anti-abortion activist Monica Kelsey. She is supported by the Knights of Columbus and local and national anti-abortionites. Kelsey’s goal is to install. with or without implementng legislation, baby drop boxes first in Indiana and then throughtout the country. An evangelical Christian, she sees baby boxes as an alterntive to abortion seemingly convinced that “desperate women” will carry secret pregnances to term, deliver alone, and walk away from a baby hole-in-the wall knowing they have ‘saved a life.” Altough Indiana, basically on a technicality, has rejectd Kelsey’s baby box legislation (seen “Legislation”) she is going ahead with her plan and will soon begin installing baby boxes, which do not need legislative or other state approval to operate, in her state.
The second group is the Hope Box, based near Atlanta. Hope Box acting as if newborns are abandoned by the scores in Atlanta, plans to open a 24/7 staffed medical facility where it will collect newborns through its dropbox scheme (and probably other ways) and then pass them on to its affiliated adoption agency. Hope Box and its adoption agency are affiliated with the cult church Interntional House of Prayer (IHOP). Hope Box is also partnering with evangelical anti-trafficking ministeries in metro Atlanta to scoop up babies.
Established Safe Haven organizations such as Save Abandoned Babies Foundation (Illinois), AMT Children of Hope (New York) and even Baby Safe Haven New England (the Morriseys) are actively opposing this legislation. US AdoptionLand. however, has been asleep at the wheel and appears ignorant of the danger these groups pose to families, adoptee rights and adoption reform. We hope to change that soon.