KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville Fire Department station will be the home of Tennessee’s first Safe Haven Baby Box in order to save the lives of newborns and give parents an option to surrender their baby with anonymity. A ceremony is set for next week.
Tennessee has a Safe Haven Law, which allows mothers or parents of newborns to surrender unharmed babies to designated facilities within two weeks of the child’s birth date without risk of being prosecuted. Tennessee’s Safe Haven Law was enacted in 2001 in order to reduce the number of unsafe abandonments of babies.
The nonprofit, Safe Haven Baby Boxes, offers more than 100 locations in communities across the nation, including several in Kentucky.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes’ primary goal is to raise awareness of the Safe Haven Law. The nonprofit’s baby boxes are accessible from the outside of the building and are equipped with silent alarms.
Knoxville Fire’s Blessing of the Knoxville, Tenn. Baby Box ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at KFD Station No. 17 at 4804 Western Ave.
Throughout Tennessee, there are more than 1,000 Safe Haven designations including hospitals, police stations, fire department stations and other medical facilities.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes also offers a 24-hour, seven-day National Safe Haven crisis hotline at 1-866-99BABY1.