State senator announces bill to expand availability of ‘baby boxes’

Photo credit: LaPorte County Sheriff's Office

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A state senator announced Wednesday that he introduced a bill that would expand the availability of newborn safety incubators, commonly referred to as “baby boxes.”

State Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) introduced SB 123 to allow every fire department that is staffed 24/7 to be able to have them.

“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.

“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.”

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.

After the abandoned infant is medically cleared, DCS takes the child and places them with a caregiver.

Holdman said that on Nov. 7, a baby was placed in a baby box in Michigan City, and was recently adopted.