TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- The Terre Haute Fire Department number 5 installed a baby box to help mothers have a safe resource to leave their baby in times of desperation. This was made possible by the Safe Haven Baby Box Organization.
The first baby box was installed in 2016 and since then 85 boxes are across the U.S. There are currently 68 boxes in Indiana. The increase of infant abandonment and death from abandonment has proven the need for these life-saving boxes. The founder of the "He Knows Your Name" ministry, Linda Znachko, shares why she is so passionate about providing baby boxes for mothers.
"In 2009 there was a baby found in a dumpster in Indianapolis and that is what started "He Knows Your Name Ministry" Because finding a baby that was deceased you know just prompted me to ask some questions like what happens to babies like this?" says Znachko.
Under the Safe Haven law, a person can give up an unwanted baby without fear of arrest or prosecution. This encourages more mothers to surrender their babies without having the fear of being reprimanded.
"We're protecting the lives of children and we're also helping at-risk moms have other options and know that they can be resourced and they can be helped and make decisions in their desperate time of need," says Znachko.
Fire Chief, Bill Berry, says although he hopes the box never has to be used, he is glad it is at his station just in case a mother feels she has no other option.
"They've got a safe place. If they do not want a baby. If it's an unwanted baby in one place it's not gonna be an unwanted baby somewhere else" says Berry.
The Safe Haven baby box staff also offers a 24-hour hotline for women to talk to a professional about surrendering their child. Click here for the Safe Haven Website.