Indiana Senate approves study of ‘baby boxes’ proposal

Baby Boxes
A prototype of a baby box, where parents could surrender their newborns anonymously, is shown outside the fire station in Woodburn, Ind., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The box is actually a newborn incubator, or baby box, and it could be showing up soon at Indiana hospitals, fire stations, churches and other selected sites under legislation that would give mothers in crisis a way to surrender their children safely and anonymously. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Senate has approved a bill calling for additional study on the possibility of setting up “baby boxes” for women to anonymously surrender their newborns.

Senators voted unanimously Tuesday to call on agencies including the Indiana State Health Department to review questions about the use of the boxes, awareness programs for Indiana’s current safe haven program, and laws regarding emergency custody of abandoned children.

The safe haven law allows unharmed newborns to be surrendered at places including hospitals and fire stations without fear of prosecution. Supporters of the baby boxes proposed them as a last resort for those unwilling to surrender a child in person.

The study findings are to be finished before next year’s legislative session. House approval is still needed for the bill.

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