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July 5, 2023

Good News: Safe Haven Baby Box

A firefighter and his wife adopt a surrendered baby.

At a fire station in Ocala, Florida, is a box on the side of the building. It is a Safe Haven Baby Box that “legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender if they are unable to care for their newborn.” This particular Safe Haven Baby Box (SHBB) had been installed in 2020 and is the only one of its kind in all of Florida. In January 2023, the silent alarm went off inside the fire station, alerting the firefighter inside of a baby having been placed in the box — the first one since its installation.

The firefighter immediately went and retrieved the newborn — a little baby girl wrapped in a pink blanket with a bottle. It was like a miracle had been handed to him. He explained: “I picked her up and held her. We locked eyes, and that was it. I’ve loved her ever since that moment.”

The firefighter — who wishes to remain anonymous — and his wife had been trying, unsuccessfully, to start a family of their own for 10 years. They were even fully qualified for adoption and were on the list for prospective adoptive parents. The firefighter sent a note with the little baby to the hospital, explaining the situation and inquiring if he and his wife could adopt her. On January 4 the baby came home to them, and in April baby Zoey was officially their daughter.

Another miraculous aspect of this story is that the firefighter and his wife were able to adopt so quickly. There is some trepidation for prospective adoptive parents that arises before the official adoption — the birth mother may change her mind and claim her child. In Florida, the Safe Haven Law states that when a mother surrenders her newborn for adoption, she has until the court has made a judgment that terminates her parental rights to change her mind. Happily for baby Zoey and her new family, her birth mother didn’t change her mind.

This is a beautiful adoption story and highlights the brave sacrifice of the mother in crisis and the preservation of the life of the sweet little baby. SHBBs are a compassionate answer to a mother facing the choice of life or death for her newborn.

Mothers who are unable to care for their newborns are sometimes driven to do desperate things like abandoning their infants, which sometimes results in the death of a helpless child. Having an SHBB installed in more locations will help provide a far better solution for a mother and child in need.

Pregnancies involve two lives: Mother and child. Mothers who have unplanned pregnancies need better options than abortion or abandonment of their child. SHBBs do more than provide a safe place to anonymously surrender a newborn; they actually have a hotline that councils and helps mothers in need.

That hotline has not only given desperate mothers aid in surrendering their children, but some mothers were actually directed to pregnancy centers and were able to care for their children after all. Pregnancy centers provide all sorts of resources to mothers in need (financial, medical, psychological). This blows to bits one of the biggest pro-abortion lies: that pro-life pregnancy centers only care about an unborn child, and the mother is on her own post-birth.

SHBBs are a life-saving resource. Hopefully, women who are faced with the awful choice of life or death for their baby take advantage of such a resource. For baby Zoey and her new family, this resource was a blessing from God.

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