(WTVQ) — Although they are becoming more common nationwide, the idea of baby boxes was a personal one for Monica Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, she decided to turn one of her life experiences as an infant into something more, something that would help other mothers in crisis.
“The Safe Haven Baby Boxes was birthed out of my own personal story of being abandoned as an infant. I’ve always known about safe haven because of my work, but I never really put it together with my life story until I seen a baby safe in Cape Town, South Africa back in 2013,” says Kelsey.
It’s an idea that sparked change, Kelsey the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes was determined showing mothers in crisis they have options.
“I never envisioned that we would be a nationwide organization. I just wanted to save a few babies here in Indiana, which is where I’m from, but Christ had a different job for me. And so the more success we started having in Indiana, the more locations were like, what, what are you doing? How can we be a part of this? Because once you pull an infant from a dumpster that is dead or alive, you don’t wanna do that again,”added Kelsey.
Since its inception in Indiana, various fire departments across the nation have implemented Safe Haven Baby Boxes. The most recent is the city of Danville, which is hoping to install it in the coming weeks.
Kelsey also says, “we’re a non-profit organization and we, we literally are, are changing the narrative and allowing these parents the anonymity that they want to save the life of their child.”
The baby box is a safety device that under the state’s Safe Haven Law, legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely and anonymously surrender their child, if they are unable to care for their newborn.
But what happens after a baby is surrendered?
“Now in the state of Kentucky, the babies go into the foster to adopt program where they’re in foster care for about 30 days because we have to allow these parents 30 days to come back if they choose. Once that 30 days is up and the the termination of parental rights happens, then the baby is free to be adopted,” said Monica Kelsey.
Kelsey says mothers who choose to surrender their babies should be recognized for the sacrifice they make.
“Choose something that is best for you and your child. Don’t look at one option, look at all options. Once you have all options and you understand each process, then make the best choice for you,” — Monica Kelsey.
To donate to the Nicholasville Fire Department fundraiser, click here.
They are still short of their $16,000 goal.