Woodburn, Ind. – Monica Kelsey says that her own abandonment and subsequent adoption was a pivotal point in the creation of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. In August 1972, Monica’s birth mom, who was 17 at the time, was brutally attacked, raped, and left on the side of a road. After the attack, Monica’s birth mother pressed charges against her assailant. Six weeks later, in October 1972, she found out that she was pregnant. With the encouragement of her mother, Monica’s birth mother found herself at a back alley abortion clinic. Monica says that while standing in front of the man who was going to take her baby’s life, her birth mother changed her mind and walked out. Her birth mother abandoned Baby Monica at a hospital in Ohio. Eight weeks later she was adopted. At 37 years old, Monica met her birth mother for the first time. Meeting her birth mother meant working through those details of being conceived through rape and being abandoned. Monica says that the facts that were put before her led to a period of depression. She says that she had to sort through all of the information that she had before and choose whether she wanted to keep it to herself or help others. With the encouragement of her husband and her children’s blessing, she chose to help others.
With a background in the Navy as a firefighter and a civilian career as a firefighter and a paramedic, Monica chose to create a way for desperate mothers to have a safe place to surrender their babies anonymously. The program became a non-profit 501(c)(3) called, “Safe Haven Baby Boxes.” The state of Indiana passed a Safe Haven Baby Law that worked with the concept of mother’s placing their babies in the Safe Haven Baby Boxes anonymously and two such boxes have been placed in the state of Indiana. Monica says that there are around 150 babies left for dead around the United States each year. Monica adds that since 2014 in Alabama, our state has been averaging one to two abandonment each year. She went on to say that the one to two per year average are the babies that are actually found in our state. She believes that there are many more who remain unknown. On November 7th, the first baby was placed in one of the Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Indiana. Monica described the baby as a healthy happy baby who is now with her adoptive family.
For those who are interested in finding out more about Safe Haven Baby Boxes, you can go to SafeHavenBabyBoxes.com. Moving forward, we will have more information on the possibility of having Safe Haven Baby Boxes available in our own state, so stay tuned.