The City of Gadsden will soon be one of 12 cities in the state with a Safe Haven Baby Box, where infants can be surrendered safely and anonymously.
“Surrendering a newborn baby is a tremendously difficult decision, and if someone has decided to take that step, we want to make sure it can be done in the safest way possible,” said Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford. “We hope this Baby Box never has to be used, but we’re thankful to be selected as a location for this service that could save a life.”
The Safe Haven Baby Box is a climate-controlled receptacle that is monitored by audio and video and locks after a child is placed inside. An alarm then alerts 911 and first responders, who can quickly attend to the baby and take the child to the hospital.
Gadsden’s box will be located at Fire Station No. 3 at 300 Garden St. in East Gadsden, next to U.S. Highway 431.
It is being made possible by an $18,000 donation from the Kids to Love Foundation, a Madison organization that is installing baby boxes at a dozen locations across the state.
A state legislative change this summer increased the age that an infant can be surrendered from 3 days to 45 days, and it also authorized boxes at fire stations.
“The Fire Department constantly works to save lives and help those in need, and we’re proud to be able to offer a safe place where we can quickly assist during a serious situation,” said Gadsden Fire Chief Wil Reed.
A resolution approving the box was presented to the Gadsden City Council this week, and it will come up for final approval at Tuesday’s meeting.
Ribbon cuttings for boxes across the state are expected in November, which is Adoption Awareness Month.