Safe Haven Baby Box advocates hoping to bring boxes across Mississippi
LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - Long Beach leaders have signed off to become the first city in Mississippi to have a Safe Haven Baby Box. Caitlin Kelly lobbied her hometown leaders to join the national program that helps mothers in crisis safely surrender their babies.
“We had four infant abandonments the last two years in Mississippi alone,” said Kelley. “Two from October to December of last year two babies were abandoned in Mississippi.”
Kelly is now working to get boxes like these across Mississippi. A bill in the state house will make that easier.
“If this bill does pass, what we’re trying to do is completely expand the safe haven law to come alongside women who needs this more and more,” said Kelley. “And we wouldn’t have to ask every city personally if they would like a baby box. It would be in the statewide law that you would be able to house a baby box wherever you like.”
Safe Haven Baby Boxes are installed in a fire or police station with an alarm that will go off when a baby is placed inside. Kelley says she wants to make sure every woman in Mississippi has a safe option when facing the tough decision of giving up an infant.
“I’m an adoptive mother, a biological mother, foster mother and a nurse. I think the compassion my husband and I have for this mission is why this is so important to me,” said Kelley. “I look around the country knowing these women that I’m seeing, birth mothers that I walked along side and talked to would like more options to give anyone an option to safely surrender a child knowing it’s the hardest thing she’s going to do is on my heart and I believe we are moving forward in that situation.”
Kelley says the next step is to raise funding for the box in Long Beach, hoping to raise $20,000 with the help from the community.
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