STATEHOUSE (Jan. 3, 2018) — State Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) today announced the introduction of Senate Bill 123, which would expand the availability of newborn safety incubators, commonly referred to as “baby boxes.”
Keeping with Indiana’s Safe Haven law, Holdman introduced SB 123 to expand the use of baby boxes in Indiana by allowing fire departments staffed 24/7 to install baby boxes. Baby boxes are safety incubators where mothers can anonymously surrender their newborn babies. Currently, there are only two in Indiana. Expanding this program is voluntary, and allows each fire department to make the decision whether or not to install these boxes.
The Indiana Safe Haven Law enables a person to give up an unwanted infant anonymously without fear of arrest or prosecution if surrendered at a hospital or a site staffed by an emergency medical services provider.
Under this law, a person is not required to provide information as long as there is no evidence of intentional abuse on the baby. It is encouraged to offer any knowledge of the date of birth, race, parent medical history, child's health or anything that would be useful to the child's caregiver. The Indiana Department of Child Services then takes abandoned infants into custody through Child Protective Services and places the child with a caregiver.
“Baby boxes allow women to give their baby a chance for a better life,” Holdman said. “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.”
Holdman added that Tuesday, Nov. 7, a baby was placed in one of the Safe Haven baby boxes in Michigan City, and was recently adopted.
A high-resolution photo of State Sen. Travis Holdman is available by clicking here.
Contact: Rita Davison, Press Secretary