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First newborn left in Safe Haven Baby Box in Bowling Green, Kentucky

A healthy newborn baby has been surrendered to a Safe Haven Baby Box in Bowling Green, Kentucky, less than two months after the box was installed.
/ Source: TODAY

A healthy newborn baby has been surrendered to a Safe Haven Baby Box in Bowling Green, Kentucky, less than two months after the box was installed.

Monica Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, told on Feb. 10 that the newborn was left inside the temperature-controlled baby box at the Bowling Green Fire Department Station #7 on Lover's Lane some time during the last week.

Kelsey declined to be more specific in an effort to guarantee anonymity to the newborn's surrendering parent.

Fire Station in Safe Haven
The Safe Haven Baby Box is located in the wall of one of the Bowling Green Fire Department stations.Courtesy WNKY

"This box has been active for less than 60 days. We actually just blessed this box in December," said Kelsey, noting that it "warms her heart" to see the organization's boxes working so effectively.

"You know this parent has been thinking about this for a very long time and made the tough decision to surrender her child," said Kelsey. "We're just thankful for her for placing this child in a safety device."

The newborn was inside the baby box for “less than a minute” before a silent alarm notified 911, said Kelsey.

The firefighters inside the station, she said, did “exactly what they were trained to do" by Safe Haven. The newborn was immediately transported to the closest medical facility, where she was evaluated by a physician.

Safe Haven Baby Box
The exterior of the Safe Haven Baby Box.Courtesy WNKY

“Everything just went exactly as it’s supposed to,” said Kelsey.

During a press conference on Friday, Fire Chief Justin Brooks called Station 7's new Safe Haven Baby Box a "pro-active measure for the community," Meghann Stamps of NBC affiliate WKNY reported.

The fire department, he added, had earned the respect and trust of community members. "We are the place that people show up when they are in need and we'll still be that place because we are those people who can make it better," said Brooks.

A young woman opens a door on the side of a brick wall. Inside is a clear plastic crib for a baby.
WNKY reporter Meghann Stamps shows how the box works.Courtesy WNKY

The Bowling Green baby is the 24th newborn legally surrendered to one of Safe Haven's more than 130 baby boxes throughout the United States since its first box was installed in 2017. Just last month, another newborn was safely surrounded to a baby box in Ocala, Florida.

The Kentucky newborn is now in the custody and control of officials who will match the baby with her adoptive family. "This baby will probably be with her forever family within the next seven days," said Kelsey.

Kelsey, who was herself adopted as a baby after her teen mom surrendered her, said the choice for a parent to give up her baby is a difficult one.

“One of the things that I also want people to understand is that these women, it’s not that they don’t love their child. They absolutely love their child. They’re just in a crisis that you and I may never understand," she said.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes follows the stories of every baby the organization has helped find a home. "The families that are raising these kids are amazing. These kids are growing up healthy and happy and just beautiful," said Kelsey.

“It really is a good thing when a parent basically says, 'I want what’s best for my child and it’s not me.' And that child goes to a loving family that can care for that child. It is a beautiful process. It really is," she added.