Isn’t this cute?
Baby Box #200 opened last week in Roswell, New Mexico. An event at this location is open to obvious snarks, which I had planned to include today. Who could resist? Being a member of the adopted class, I always felt that I was dropped precariously from outer space. Roswell is the perfect spot for a cozy domestic landing.
But then this news dropped: a baby had been dropped timely into a box in Belen, 200 miles southeast of Roswell, and I knew Roswell had to take a backseat for now. Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc had a two-fer!
More than one person has suggested to us over the years that some box drops are staged. Who knows! But how fortuitous and curious and practical is this case? Monica Kelsey, founder and CEO of SHBB Inc Baby Boxes, who headlines nearly every box blessing and all celebratory press conferences when a baby is “saved,” didn’t have to waste time and money on two trips.
The Valenica County News-Bulletin immediately ran a story with vague details of the case.
The baby was dropped off at 1:30 PM on February 6 at the Belen Fire Station. That was pretty much it.
Fire Chief Charles Cox and Mayor Robert Noblin could not release more information, being forced due to a contractual obligation to the baby box corporation, that everything remain hush-hush until Mrs Kelsey officially announces the catch:
the city’s contract with Safe Haven stipulates they can’t comment until after the company sends out a press release. The newspaper has filed an Inspections of Public Records Act request to the city for the contract.
Holy control freak!
This explains why Mrs. Kelsey blew her stack a few days earlier when the fire chief or some other official in Madison, Alabama, beat her to the punch by going to the press about the baby drop there before she could hog the local camera. I’m sure that I didn’t imagine the unpleasant teary video that Mrs.Kelsey– makeup-less, hair disheveled– posted exuding discontent over the Madison leak, that now seems to have been scrubbed from history.
In a marginally calmer video later, Mrs. Kelsey explained that she needed to
control her corporate public narrative publicly address the mother before the press got a hold of the story and scared her away–or something. (Change her mind and spoil the show?) Mrs. Kelsey needed air time to congratulate nameless, faceless, anonymous “Mom” for her courage to do the “right thing” and guarantee her that her baby will soon be in the arms of its rightful new parents.
Yeah, we know. It sucks to be scooped on your own story.
Some time back I’d heard a vague claim that SHBB Inc had first dibs on “publicity” when a baby slid down the shute. I’m not a lawyer, but what gives SHBB Inc, a private corporation, a proprietary right to control the news? I can’t think of any legal reason why this is kosher. But…
…this contract business fits with the new Kansas baby box law that includes a gag order on SHBB Inc by prohibiting it and other individuals from disclosing any information about a box case that occurs in the state: The law reads (bottom of last page):
Except as otherwise provided by law, the following
individuals shall not disclose any information concerning the
relinquishment of the infant and individuals involved in the
(1) Persons licensed to practice medicine and surgery, advanced
practice registered nurse or licensed physician assistant;
(2) employees of a facility described in subsection (c)(1)(A);
(3) operators of a newborn safety device; or
(4) persons employed or involved with any location where an
infant may be surrendered under this section
Gee, I wonder where that came from?
This might explain what’s going on with baby box procurement in Kansas now.
While the McPherson Fire Department has installed a box courtesy of SHBB Inc, the Hutchinson FD reportedly signed on for 2 boxes supplied by the Calgary, Alberta-based Hope’s Cradle, an initiative of Gems for Gems, a charity working with victims of intimate partner violence. The initiative has placed a couple of boxes in Alberta and Manitoba and is working in other provinces to get something going.., but it is certainly no powerhouse. Although we want no boxes installed anywhere, the Hope’s Cradle folks seem a lot nicer than the band of steroidal SHBB Inc prayers and thoughts warriors lobbing their spears at fire stations across the US. I’m enjoying the poaching.
- There’s a little more about Alabama weirdness that will be posted shortly.
- When we get our hot little hands on the Belen contract we will post it.