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Alabama’s first Safe Haven baby receives care and comfort at Madison Hospital

January 29, 2024 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
Madison Fire Safe Haven Baby Box

The first infant surrendered at a Safe Haven Baby Box in the state of Alabama is on track to be adopted by a loving family, thanks in part to the efforts of the team at Madison Hospital.

Around Jan. 22, someone anonymously placed the infant – a little girl – into a Safe Haven Baby Box that had been dedicated just two weeks earlier at the Madison Fire & Rescue Station on Hughes Road.

Firefighter-medics responded to the Baby Box alarm right away. Following protocols, they conducted an initial medical assessment and determined the infant was healthy. They then drove her to Madison Hospital for additional care and safekeeping.

Madison’s Emergency Department and Special Care Nursery teams took over from there, treating the baby like one of their own while keeping her overnight for observation.

“I want the mom to know that we took really good care of your baby,” said Madison Hospital President Mary Lynne Wright. “She was loved like nothing you’ve ever seen.”

Under Alabama’s expanded Safe Haven Law, signed by Gov. Kay Ivey in June 2023, parents who are unable to care for a new baby can voluntarily surrender the child at a hospital or fire station within 45 days of the birth.

Members of the Madison Hospital nursery team take a photo with the Safe Haven Baby Box

They can do so anonymously – no questions asked – by placing their infant into a Safe Haven Baby Box at a fire station. There are currently two boxes in Alabama – in Madison and Prattville, outside Montgomery – but more are being added in Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, Opelika and Dothan.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder Monica Kelsey thanked the parent in Madison for “doing what you felt was best for your child.”

“This baby was not abandoned,” she emphasized during a Jan. 25 news conference in Madison.  “This baby was legally, safely, lovingly and anonymously placed into a Safe Haven Baby Box by a mother that wanted something more for them.”

Wright, the Madison Hospital president, said she wants parents in crisis to know that any infant surrendered at the city’s Safe Haven Baby Box will be treated with love, dignity and respect.

“That’s our commitment, every single time,” she said.

Madison’s Safe Haven Baby is currently in the custody of the Madison County Department of Human Resources – but perhaps not for much longer.

A DHR official said the state has an approved list of more than 2,600 families across Alabama that are “ready, willing and able” to adopt a child. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, he said, Madison’s Safe Haven baby should be in the arms of her forever family by this spring.