A woman abandoned at birth has shared exactly what happens when an infant is left inside a Safe Haven Baby Box, commonly found at fire stations.
Monica Kelsey, originally from Ohio, shared a clip to TikTok detailing how the scheme works, after setting up the program in 2016.
Posting under the username @safehavenbabyboxes, she demonstrated with a doll how firefighters are able to retrieve babies, with the average rescue time just two minutes.
In the video, which has been viewed more than 17 million times, she explains: “When a parent walks up to one of our Safe Haven Baby Boxes all they have to do is open the door, place their child inside, take the orange bag, shut the door and walk away.”
She confirmed there are resources inside the bag for the new parents, adding the door automatically locks once the baby is inside.
Monica then walks into the fire station demonstrating what happens next, as she revealed silent alarms go off alerting firefighters to the baby’s presence.
“Firefighters will pull the babies from the inside of the baby box, place the child in an ambulance and head to the closest hospital. Average time our babies are in our boxes is right at two minutes,” she said.
The boxes are installed on the outside of fire stations, and hospitals, and there are currently 60 locations across Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Arizona, as well as six “baby drawers” in the Grand Canyon state.
Explaining how the scheme works, the website said: “A Baby Box is a safety device provided for under state’s Safe Haven Law and legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender if they are unable to care for their newborn. A Baby Box is installed in an exterior wall of a designated fire station or hospital.
“It has an exterior door that automatically locks upon placement of a newborn inside the Baby Box, and an interior door which allows a medical staff member to secure the surrendered newborn from inside the designated building.”
The Safe Haven Baby Box website explains Monica was adopted after being abandoned by her biological mother “just a few hours after giving birth.”
After learning the circumstances of her adoption when she was 37, the website states Monica turned her attention to helping babies in a similar situation.
People have praised the scheme online, with one woman sharing her own story in the video comments.
Posting under the username tn_farm_grl, they wrote: “I adopted my son this past November. He was a safe haven baby. Thank you for all you do.”