Are Baby Boxes Good or Bad?
· Boxes deny the opportunity for a mother to be offered medical care and supportive services. About 25% of parents who come to a Safe Haven, initially planning to use the Safe Haven Law, when given the opportunity to talk about options, choose to either make an adoption or parenting plan.
· Boxes strip away any chance of personal contact which means the parent is completely alone, contributing to her being frightened. She does not have the comfort of placing her baby into the arms of anyone. Instead, the idea that what she is doing is ‘bad’ and something that she should feel ashamed about is reinforced.
· Boxes add confusion as to where and what is considered a Safe Haven site. There are many bad possible outcomes to this. For example, a mother comes to a hospital, looking for a Box but that hospital doesn’t have one. She becomes frustrated, confused, and leaves the baby alone, abandoned. Will the baby survive? The mother is bleeding, in need of medical help that she does not get. How will people feel when she is found having bled to death?
· The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has called for a ban on the boxes in Europe and has urged countries to provide family planning and other support to address the root causes of abandonments, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell.
· Technology fails. What happens when the box fails?
· What happens if a baby who has been abused, neglected or needs immediate medical attention is left in a baby box? If a baby is found dead in a baby box who is liable?
· Another concern comes from the Bureau of Homeland Security. Even before 911, the department had grave concerns about pipe bombs being placed inside one of them by terrorists and causing catastrophic injuries to doctors, hospital stuff and first responders. There have been attacks in various cities, most recently in Washington, DC. If a terrorist makes an attack on a hospital, or police/fire station, key emergency personnel will be killed or critically wounded. Boxes will be added to the list of high-risk locations as a “soft target” and greatly increase liability insurance.
· Cost! Each box costs some $20,000 to $30,000 to install. Then there is the continued cost of monthly maintenance and yearly inspections. Who pays for this? Can you imagine how many more babies would be saved if that kind of money was instead spent increasing awareness to the existing law?
· There is a conflict of interest when the group lobbying for the boxes owns the only patent for the boxes. It has also been asked if they are violating their nonprofit 501(c)3 status with the amount of time and money they are spending lobbying for baby box laws.
· There have been half a dozen times when twins were relinquished under the Baby Safe Haven law. Do 30 days old twins fit into a box? Almost 57% of the country allows for relinquishing an infant 30 days old up to one year.