Frye’s bill to expand use of Baby Boxes advances to House floor

Safe Haven Baby Box at Margaret Mary Health in Batesville.  

Statehouse — The House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety voted unanimously Thursday in support of State Rep. Randy Frye’s legislation that would help increase the number of Safe Haven Baby Boxes across the state.

Frye, chair of the committee, stated his bill would make it easier for communities to install baby boxes. Indiana’s Safe Haven Law enables a parent to surrender an infant less than 30 days old to any hospital emergency room, fire station, police station, or Safe Haven Baby Box within the state without fear of prosecution. Baby boxes are temperature-controlled with an alarm system that alerts first responders when an infant is placed inside.

“This bill will help Indiana remain a leader in saving vulnerable, newborn infants and providing them a chance at life,” Frye said. “My goal is for every county in the state to install a Safe Haven Baby Box, and this bill would take us one step closer to achieving that milestone.”

The bill would allow communities to install a baby box at a volunteer fire station located in a municipality with a full-time police department. The bill would also allow counties with professional emergency medical service providers with a 24/7 staffed facility to install boxes. Currently, Indiana has 51 Safe Haven Baby Boxes statewide, which helped save the lives of five Hoosier babies in 2020.

House Bill 1032 now moves to the full House of Representatives for further consideration.