A fire station in Alabama is working to open the state’s first Safe Haven Baby Box in the coming weeks.
The baby box is being installed at Madison Fire Station One on Mill Road, WAFF48 reported.
Dan Pickens with Madison Fire and Rescue said the box will be ready in a few weeks and must first go through a seven-day test phase to make sure it is working properly.
“[A]nd then there would be the blessing of the box where there would be an actual priest come out bless the box and put in service,” Pickens said.
Baby boxes were created to deter parents from abandoning their newborns, potentially leaving them to die. Baby boxes are temperature-controlled incubators that are often built into outside, exterior walls of fire stations, police stations, and hospitals and can be accessed from inside. At-risk mothers can safely and legally place their newborns inside. Then, the outside door locks, and mothers have time to get away before an alarm goes off alerting first responders or hospital staff inside.
The baby is then quickly removed and sent to a hospital for a wellness check. From there, the baby is usually placed into state custody and often quickly adopted.
“The non-profit group Kids to Love spearheaded a bill that passed the Alabama legislature this year, allowing baby boxes to be installed in the state. It also expanded the state’s Safe Haven Law, allowing mothers to surrender their child up to 45 days,” according to the report.
Several other cities in Alabama are looking to install Safe Haven Baby Boxes, including Mobile, Opelika, and Selma, according to the report.