Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Town Council interested in obtaining Safe Haven Baby Box

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By KEVIN NEVERS

To date, only two communities in Indiana currently have a Safe Haven Baby Box available to mothers of newborns: Woodburn--where the boxes were developed--and Coolspring Township in LaPorte County.

The latter--located at the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department (CTVFD)--was used earlier this month by a mother to give her infant up, safely and anonymously.

It’s unknown who the mother was, but investigators have speculated that she may possibly be the same who apparently gave birth in a portable restroom on the Prairie Duneland Trail, where on Nov. 8--the day after the CTVFD’s box was used--afterbirth was discovered in the toilet tank.

The incident, however, has prompted an interest on the Chesterton Town Council in Safe Haven Baby Boxes.

At the council’s meeting Monday night, President Jim Ton, R-1st, suggested that there could well be a need in this community for a Safe Haven Baby Box. “There’s too much to risk and too much to lose by not having one,” he said.

Members accordingly agreed by consensus to ask Police Chief Dave Cincoski and Fire Chief John Jarka to investigate the feasibility of obtaining and installing a baby box at an appropriate location in town.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes were created by Woodburn resident Monica Kelsey, according to the organization’s website.

Under the state’s Save Haven Law--as explained by the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) on its website--persons are “able to give up an unwanted infant anonymously without fear of arrest or prosecution.”

“As long as there are no signs of intentional abuse on the baby, no information is required of the person leaving the baby,” DCS states. “Any knowledge of the date of birth, race, parent medical history, child’s health, or anything that would be useful to the child’s caregiver would be greatly appreciated.”

Once the baby is examined by medical professionals, DCS takes custody of the child to place with a caregiver.

Kelsey, for her part, developed the Safe Haven Baby Box “to take the face-to-face interaction out of the surrender.” Or as the website states, “No Shame, No Blame, No Names.”

Hometown Holiday Celebration

Members took a moment at the end of the meeting to give high marks to this year’s edition of the Hometown Holiday Celebration, hosted and organized as always by the Duneland Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber “did an outstanding job,” said Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, who suggested that--coinciding as the event did with Small Business Saturday--Hometown Holiday likely provided a real boost to the Downtown’s retailers. “I walked the whole length of it and it was like the Wizard of Oz Fest all over again. It was very successful, at least to the retailers I talked to. Everybody was happy. Everybody was pleased. It went very well.”

Member Nate Cobbs, R-4th, concurred. “The park looked amazing with the lights,” he said. “And it couldn’t have been done without the help of all the town employees.”

Cobbs also expressed his gratitude to Jenny Vidimos and her family, who donated Hometown Holiday’s centerpiece--a 30-foot evergreen tree from her property--to the Chamber.

 

Posted 11/28/2017

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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