Torch and Kids to Love Announce First Safe Haven Baby Box in the State of Alabama

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Kids to Love is proud to announce the first Safe Haven Baby Box in the state of Alabama is open in the city of Madison. 

The box is at Madison Fire Station #1, which is located at 101 Mill Road in Madison. A ribbon cutting was held the afternoon of Jan. 10. 

Kids to Love began working to expand the state’s Safe Haven law in the spring of 2023, when it became apparent that changing abortion laws would lead to more children in need of a loving home in Alabama. Senator Larry Stutts helped us get the ball rolling and Rep. Donna Givens got the bill passed. The Legislature passed House Bill 473 later that year, expanding the law to allow a mother to surrender a child less than 45 days old to fire stations that are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week year-round, provided they have at least one emergency medical services personnel. 

“The Safe Haven Baby Box provides a vital resource to our community, especially for the most fragile of our numbers,” said Madison Mayor Paul Finley. “We hope if ever the situation calls for use of the Safe Haven location at Fire Station 1, any mother-in-crisis can be assured their little-one will be cared for by the trained and compassionate hands of Madison Fire and Rescue. We extend sincere gratitude to the Kids to Love Foundation for leading fundraising efforts for this cause and thank everyone involved in establishing this Safe Haven location in the City of Madison.” 

The boxes, which are mounted outside of a building, lock once a baby has been placed inside and the door is closed. An alarm alerts medical staff on site, and they are able to secure the newborn from inside the building. 

Madison Alabama Safe Haven Baby Box

“Our team at Madison Fire and Rescue is dedicated to providing lifesaving services across our community,” said Madison Fire & Rescue Chief David Bailey. “Partnering with the Safe Haven team, Kids to Love, and Madison Hospital helps us serve the City of Madison in an incredibly impactful way. We are thrilled to join the ranks of Safe Haven Baby Box locations throughout the nation. Our First Responders are trained in providing infant critical care and on the Safe Haven Law to provide support for anonymous mothers-in-crisis.” 

In addition to Kids to Love spearheading the effort to expand the Safe Haven law, Kids to Love was able to secure funding to place more baby boxes in cities across Alabama.

Prattville also will have a box operational soon, and eight other Alabama cities will have boxes, including Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, and Opelika. 

There are so many people who helped make the baby boxes happen. Adoption attorney and child advocate Doug Bachuss supported in this process and made all the trips to Montgomery with us.Beth & Devin Whitaker helped our team get to Montgomery to educate lawmakers for the need of another option for women to safely surrender their babies when they are not ready to parent.

We also want to honor the Pilot Family and their daughter, Nikki Pilot Carlise, who made the ultimate life-giving sacrifice for her child. The Pilots and the Carlises were the first to step us and say yes and have personally funded 10 boxes that will be installed across the state.

Bill Roark with Torch Technologies wanted to make sure he covered the cost of Baby Boxes where his employees work, so he sponsored three more, including the one in Madison.

“We knew there would be a need for these baby boxes in Alabama,” said Kids to Love Founder and CEO Lee Marshall. “We worked quickly on a plan to get these boxes made and distributed in places across the state where they are needed most. We are thankful that the city of Madison saw the need as well. 

“We also are grateful that our donors saw the need and made a generous donation that will ensure mothers have a safe and anonymous way to turn their children over to agencies that will work together in the children’s best interests.” 

Safe Haven Baby Boxes was founded by Monica Kelsey and has built boxes that are available to parents in 15 states, including Alabama. Safe Haven also operates a 24-hour hotline for mothers in crisis and has a goal of protecting newborns and letting birth parents know they are not alone.