Senate bill would expand use of baby boxes

Staff Report
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – State Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, wants to expand the availability of “baby boxes” that would allow an individual to anonymously surrender an infant.

Senate Bill 123 would expand availability of newborn safety incubators, commonly referred to as baby boxes. There are currently two in Indiana and the proposed legislation would allow fire departments staffed around the clock to install baby boxes. Fire departments can choose whether to install them.

Indiana’s Safe Haven law allows an individual to anonymously surrender an infant without risk of arrest or prosecution as long as the infant is surrendered to a hospital or an establishment with emergency services. The proposed law would allow individuals to surrender them anonymously by placing the child in the box. The Indiana Department of Child Services then would take the abandoned infants into custody.

“Baby boxes allow women to give their baby a chance for a better life,” Holdman said in a statement. “Encouraging fire departments that are staffed 24/7 to have baby boxes will positively benefit more infants’ lives by increasing the number of locations baby boxes can be installed.”

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