". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


30-Minute-Old Infant Surrendered to Tennessee Baby Box

June 1, 2023

Knoxville, Tennessee had their first infant rescued in the city’s Safe Haven Baby Box last week. The baby boy was less than an hour old when he was placed there, and he now lies safely in the hands of the Department of Children’s Services in hopes of finding a loving adoptive family.

The box was established in February but finally put to use this week. Tennessee is the 16th state with updated laws that now allow the installation of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. There are currently 147 active baby boxes in the United States, and as more attention is brought to the mission behind the boxes, more lives are saved.

Another baby was surrendered in the Ocala Fire Rescue baby box earlier this year in Florida. According to Safe Haven Baby Boxes on Twitter, “There are now 148 Baby Boxes across 9 states. There have been 31 babies safely and lovingly surrendered in our Baby Boxes since 2017.” Slowly but surely, these boxes are making an impact across America as more people become aware of their significance.

The devices are located in an exterior wall of a hospital or fire station and enclosed with protective features and breathing holes along with an automatic alarm system that notifies the local police station 60 seconds after the child is placed in the box. It is temperature-controlled, safe, and secure. The structure allows for mothers to safely and anonymously surrender their baby if they are incapable of caring for them.

At least 25 babies have been placed in these Safe Haven boxes since the idea originated in 2008. The boxes allow mothers to avoid having a face-to-face interaction while placing their child for adoption, which could result in emotions such as shame and guilt. “While babies who are placed in safe haven boxes may never know their birth mother, all of them can be certain that there was someone who loved and cared for them enough to ensure that they had a chance to live,” Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand.

Szoch believes that the mission of the baby boxes was fulfilled the first time a child was placed in a baby box. “Safe haven boxes are meant to protect babies who have been born into dangerous situations, and this mission aligns perfectly with the pro-life movement’s mission of protecting babies,” she explained. The purpose of these baby boxes is to make the process of choosing life easier and more confidential, centered around the idea of protecting the child’s life at any and every cost.

Often, mothers are in more challenging situations than we can ever imagine, Szoch pointed out. Placing a child for adoption with an agency can be taxing and difficult and can sometimes persuade the mothers to choose otherwise. Research shows that the difficulty of adoption can lead mothers to choose abortion. Now that these baby boxes are being implemented around the country, there is hope that more lives will be saved moving forward, Szoch contended.

In addition to providing and installing baby boxes, Safe Haven also provides a 24-hour hotline that offers counseling and assistance. The organization has referred over 500 women to pregnancy resource centers to further their goal of protecting the lives of babies in a variety of ways.