Europe and Asia allow parents to put unwanted newborns into “baby boxes,” and Indiana just introduced a bill to follow in their footsteps.
The bill is not law yet, but it is making its way through the legislative process. Baby boxes are safe containers or incubators for parents who want to surrender their newborns. There are many laws that protect parents from being persecuted for abandoning their newborns. Parents could leave children at police stations, hospitals, and many nonprofit organizations that deal with these types of situations.
The problem is that newborns are sometimes left without proper clothes or are sometimes exposed to things like increment weather. There is no telling how long it might take for someone to notice the baby, which worries some people. Baby boxes could help ensure that the baby is safe and comfortable until he or she is discovered.
It is easy to see why many lawmakers are worried about children being left out in the elements. An infant’s immune system is not strong, meaning sicknesses could be quite taxing on their little bodies. There is also the possibility of wildlife hurting the infant as he or she waits.
The Save the Abandoned Babies Foundation in Chicago said they have accounted for 1,400 illegally abandoned babies, which puts the babies in danger.
Indiana is attempting to create different prototypes for these safe baby boxes. Some come with a warming and cooling mechanism to ensure the child’s comfort. A baby’s body does not regulate its own temperature well like adults, making this a very important feature. The people designing the box also want to install a switch that alerts the drop off center about a child being left in one of their safe boxes to ensure that the baby does not wait too long to be cared for. The specifics of the design are not set in stone just yet, but it seems that a lot of ideas are being tossed around.
It certainly makes it easier for parents to leave unwanted newborns in the care of others without feeling anxious about their safety.