Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder defends organization after DCS warning

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Safe Haven baby box

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The founder of an organization that installs boxes where mothers can leave unwanted newborns is standing by her organization.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder Monica Kelsey says she plans to install even more boxes despite a warning from Mary Beth Bonaventura, director of the Department of Child Services, saying they don’t comply with Indiana’s Safe Haven Law and might be unsafe.

Kelsey is also vowing to defend women who may reprimanded for using the boxes with money from a legal fund she’s creating.

Officials say women who leave their baby in a Safe Haven baby box could face child abandonment charges.

Kelsey says she consulted with lawyers who say there are no laws prohibiting the use.

She issued the following statement Thursday:

“I’m deeply saddened by the statements of Mary Beth Bonaventura, saying she will prosecute a mother trying to do the right thing. When it comes to mothers-in-crisis and their infants, the goals of Safe Haven Baby Boxes and DCS are the same. I’m not sure why Mary Beth Bonaventura is backing these mothers-in-crisis into a corner. The mission of Safe Haven Baby Boxes is to save abandoned babies and help every mother who needs assistance. We will extend this mission by starting the Legal Defense Fund for Mothers-in-Crisis to assist any mother who chooses to do the right thing.”

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