WHAS-TV reports that the Fern Creek Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky raised $54,085.51 in just two weeks to pay for four Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Yes, you heard right: $54,085.51 plus an additional $4,000 the church kicked in later to make it an even $60,000. One box is located at the Fern Creek Fire Station, two at Point Pleasure fire stations, and a fourth will open soon in Shivley. The church plans to continue to fund one box a year in the Louisville area.
Now Fern Creek Christian is not some exurban megachurch. It has about 650 members and is only a few miles from downtown Louisville. The report doesn’t mention how much was given by church members and how much was raised by them from out-of-church sources, but it appears most of the money came from members directly.
The church’s original plan was to fund one box, but then God’s voice broke loose. Fern Creek Pastor Craig Grammer can hardly contain his joy:
People were hooting and hollering and crying and hugging and we were giving away that money. It was just one of those God moments that I’ll look back on during the course of my life and I’ll never forget it.
Perhaps God’s financial priorities are a little bit off.
As of this writing, Kentucky has nine working boxes all along the Ohio River on the Kentucky- Ohio border. None have been used. Ohio currently has six boxes that likewise remain empty.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Resources webpage does not regularly post the number of traditional Safe Haven “surrenders” or the number of newborn discards in the state since the Safe Haven law was enacted in 2002. Our search team is in the process of accessing official statistics.
In March 2007, however, the Cabinet issued a press release saying that 15 cases had been reported since 2002. All but one of the babies were born in hospitals, indicating that these cases were really quick and dirty adoption relinquishments by a parent or parents who wanted to walk away without bothersome counseling, paperwork, and legal penalty. According to an April 5, 2016, news story from WDRB-TV, a total of 38 Safe Haven cases were reported by the state. There is nothing to suggest that the early pattern of quick and dirty relinquishment has changed.
Earlier this year, Spectrum News 1 reported that Monica Kelsey, the founder and CEO of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, said,” there have been a lot of abandonments in Louisville over the last 20 years.” As usual, an incurious press didn’t question her factoid. We don’t know about 20 years, but according to SHBB, Inc’s own stats updated a few weeks ago and posted on its website, since 2017, only four discard cases have been reported. So far, I have found records of two cases, both in 2018. One newborn was left in a box in front of a fire station in Bowling Green. Recently, a 25-year-old woman in Manchester (Clay County) pleaded guilty to the December 2018 murder of her newborn. Neither location is near Louisville.
Pastor Grammer, nonetheless sees spending $60,000, on devices that probably will never be used, as good stewardship. For some reason, he thinks their baby boxes can be an alternative to abortion—since most abortions are now illegal in the state. The change in the state’s laws, he says, ” solidified in our mind that the church has a responsibility to help.”
Shively Fire Colonel Charles Mucker piped in:
We’re here to serve our community and this is another way to serve it—to offer families in crisis a safe way to leave their baby if that’s what they chose to do to.
Baby box proponents pretty-up their project with slogans such as boxed babies are “lovingly surrendered” and “adoption is beautiful,” but there is nothing pretty about driving for hours (in some cases) to stick your secret newborn baby in a box in a firehouse wall. There is nothing pretty about the stigma and shame that parents and abandoned children carry for a lifetime. Mrs. Kelsey, herself an adoptee who, according to her, only learned at age 37 that she was abandoned shortly after birth, has discussed her own problems with self-worth and self-esteem— issues rooted in abandonment that nearly all adopted people experience, no matter if they were literally abandoned or were channeled “properly” into the adoption spammer.
Just think how that $60,000 donated by Fern Creek Christian divided by 4 could help actual, not fantasy, “mothers in crisis” that are now targeted to be bamboozled into believing that anonymous baby abandonment via Safe Haven Baby Box, under color of law, is the solution to a temporarily bad situation. The bounteous table that Fern Creek Christian Church could offer financial, material, and emotional support; referrals to non-directed counseling and private and public social services, and support systems that actually offer options other than baby box dumping. Instead, Fern Creek Christian chose to facilitate a program that encourages dangerous secret pregnancy and birth, secret surrender, secret adoption, identity erasure, and family dissolution. Moreover, it chose to cement adopted people even deeper into the already Draconian sealed adoption records system in Kentucky, which requires them to obtain birthparent consent and a court order to “inspect” their own original birth certificates and possible other adoption records.
Instead, the people of Fern Creek Christian Church decided to throw money at an unproven, unethical, dangerous, archaic social experiment that can’t even be defined as a band-aid. This is nothing to celebrate.