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Infant safely, anonymously surrendered in Madison ‘baby box’

Twelve days after a device was installed at a Madison fire station to safely and anonymously receive infants whose parents need to give them up, a baby girl was placed in it Sunday.

She’s the first baby surrendered in the state through the use of what’s often called a “baby box.”

The baby is healthy and in the custody of the Department of Human Resources, Rep. Donna Givens, R-Loxley, told Alabama Daily News on Wednesday.

Givens last year sponsored the bill that expanded the state’s Safe Haven Law to allow someone to surrender an infant up to 45 days old at hospitals and fire stations. It also allowed for the baby safety devices – usually built into walls at fire stations or other first responder centers — to be funded through private donations.

As soon as the outer device door shuts, an electronic alarm sounds, alerting first responders, as was the case Sunday in Madison.

“It proved to me, which in my heart I knew was accurate, that it was the right thing to do,” Givens said about the legislation.

“In my mind, I feel like this was a little baby that something else would have happened to her, and now, I know she will be cared for and loved,” Givens said. “She’s just going to be blessed.”

Kids for Love, a private adoption agency operating in Alabama and Tennessee, advocated for Given’s bill last year and is helping organize the installation of the devices in several cities.

“We knew there was a need for these boxes in Alabama,” Kids to Love Founder and CEO Lee Marshall said in a written statement. “This mother made a difficult and courageous decision when she placed her child in Madison’s Safe Haven Baby Box. We are thankful it was there for her when she needed it.”

Another device was recently installed in Prattville and more are planned in Tuscaloosa, Opelika, and Gadsden.

Givens also said she’d pray for the baby’s mother. 

“I know this had to be a tough decision on her part, and she had to show bravery, in my opinion, to, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, drop this baby off. Don’t know the circumstances, but it doesn’t matter, it’s just the baby is safe.”

Alabama Daily News’ Mary Sell contributed to this report.

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