Indiana lawmaker proposes bill to allow for more baby boxes

An Indiana legislator is proposing legislation that would allow for expanded use of baby boxes in which a mother could anonymously give up her newborn.

Republican state Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle announced Wednesday his bill would allow fire departments that are continually staffed to install the devices.

A state law passed last year allows for such boxes at hospitals, though proponents say none have been installed yet. Two fire departments that previously installed such devices were also grandfathered in under the law.

Baby boxes are heated and contain an alarm that alerts when a baby is placed inside. But child welfare authorities have voiced concerns about a lack of safeguards in place to ensure the safety of the boxes.

Holdman says his latest effort helps address those concerns by only allowing the boxes to be installed continuously staffed locations.

In LaPorte County, a baby was placed in the box at Coolspring Township’s Volunteer Fire Department, safe and sound just two months ago. That child has since been adopted.

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