City to install ‘baby box’ for mums to abandon their unwanted tots ‘safely’

A city has announced that it will be installing a “baby box” on the streets so mothers can abandon their unwanted children “safely”.

The new scheme has been launched in Española, New Mexico, USA, just days after an 18-year-old mum was arrested for allegedly throwing her newborn into a dumpster bin.

The device will cost around £1,500 to install, and will be functioning by early March.

Javier Sanchez, mayor of Española, told local news: “We are finally at the point where we’re going to install our first baby box in the Española Fire Station and we are thrilled about that.

“We’re getting more awareness about what the reality is out there in the world.

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“Our attorneys have finalised the last ticking points that we were concerned with.

The boxes allow mothers to give up their babies in a safe way

“I think that we are now really on solid ground to have our city managers sign that in to get it going and we can start going from here.”

The Safe Haven baby boxes exist in several locations across America.

They are, essentially, a crib inside and insulated secure box in a wall, which contains CCTV cameras and a 24-hour hotline for mothers to call if they are using the space.

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According to the creator’s website, 13 babies have been surrendered inside Safe Haven Baby Boxes since the first was installed in 2016.

The boxes have been used several times since being introduced in 2016
The boxes have been used several times since being introduced in 2016

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Three other babies have been surrendered at fire stations with Safe Haven Baby Boxes.

Nationwide, more than 100 surrenders have resulted from calls to the Safe Haven Baby Boxes national hotline.

All 50 US states have “safe haven” laws that allow newborns to be dropped off without criminal penalties at designated locations – usually fire or police departments, the New York Post reports.

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John Wickersham, assistant fire chief of the Española Fire Department, told local news that the boxes are “temperature-regulated” and “have alarm systems that go off and notify us when we’re not there – we respond within three minutes.”