State Sen. Erin Houchin attends unveiling of newborn safety incubator

 STATEHOUSE (July 30, 2018) — State Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) today attended the unveiling of a new Safe Haven newborn safety incubator at Decatur Township Fire Department No. 74.

Houchin co-authored Senate Enrolled Act 340 during the 2018 legislative session, which expanded Indiana’s Safe Haven Law by allowing fire stations that are staffed 24/7 to have newborn safety incubators. These incubators, also called “baby boxes”, provide a last-resort opportunity for parents to safely surrender their newborn if they aren’t able to care for the infant.

“Unfortunately, parents sometimes find themselves in a position where they feel they cannot care for their child,” Houchin said. “It will always be ideal for the baby to be placed in the arms of another adult, but when that isn’t possible, these incubators provide a safe option. These incubators have saved lives, and the addition of this one is a blessing to the surrounding community.”

There are two other safety incubators in Indiana, located in Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department in LaPorte County and Woodburn Fire Department in Allen County. Two babies have been surrendered in the past eight months to the LaPorte County location, and one infant was surrendered July 1 at the Decatur Township Fire Department before the incubator was operational.

Newborn safety incubators are FDA-approved, and parents are legally allowed to surrender their infants in one anonymously if the infant is less than 30 days old. When the infant is placed in the box, firefighters are notified by an alarm and transport the infant to a hospital for a check-up. If the infant shows no sign of intentional abuse, there will be no attempt made to contact the parents. The baby will then be placed in foster care and available for adoption.

For more information about Indiana’s Safe Haven law, click here.

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