Women demand anonymity, ” Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc shouts to the world from the rooftops of Woodburn, Indiana. If so, why does SHBB Inc continue to hijack the stories of their “saved” babies and their families into the public fora?
We (and AdoptionLand at large) have complained that no matter how much the organization has staked out “anonymity ” as a prerequisite for their savioresque narrative, the baby box company parades its baby catches around like trained poodles at photo op press conferences, box blessings, and fundraisers. (Six boxlings, now adopted, are confirmed celebrity guests for the annual SHBB Inc fundraising banquet in Louisville next month.) See, nothing makes people feel good about themselves or makes a buck faster than tragedy, especially when children are involved. You’d think Georgia Tann was running the $how.
Back in June, we wrote about how SHBB Inc founder and CEO Monica Kelsey went public when she didn’t like the way Indiana DCS was handling the requested return of Number 19 (IN#16) to his rightful parents. We agreed with her that the state didn’t handle the case well, but we certainly did not OK the dog and pony show she threw for the press and social media announcing that the baby was born with drugs in his system. What right did Mrs Kelsey, much less the public, have to know that confidential medical information? What right did she have to divulge that confidential information to the media? Of course, since SHBB Inc’s public yapping isn’t covered by HIPAA, nothing could be done about this gross invasion of baby and parent privacy.
Another blatant breach of confidentiality and privacy, and possibly anonymity occurred this weekend on the second anniversary of the boxing of Baby Samuel (IN # 8) when SHBB Inc posted this image on its Facebook page of the handwritten note left with him at Decatur Township Fire Station #4. It is possible that the handwriting could have been recognized by someone who suspected that a family member had been boxed. Certainly, if this note (which strikes us as bit too precise in detail, but that’s another issue) had been left with the baby at a traditional safe haven drop-off, personnel would never have posted it online. If they had, they would have been disciplined, if not fired.
Shortly after this boxing event, SHBB Inc held a press conference where Mrs Kelsey spilled Sam’s story, which is not hers to tell, to press and public. She made assumptions about his mother with no evidence but her own vivid fantasia of how and why he managed to make his way into the box. (Press conference recording and transcript in my possession; emphasis is mine. News coverage here)
- It’s not that these women don’t love their babies. This woman left a note with her child and it’s heartbreaking just to read it because she expressed how much she loved this child. And so, thank this fire department for having this resource available.
- But thankfully this option is available for them because where would this baby have been found. We don’t know if this baby would have been placed in a safe place. It might have been found dead. We don’t know. I can tell you this. by reading this letter that she left, this mother loved her child. And it is evident by the letter that she wrote.
- I hope that this child reads this letter in 18 years and says my birthmom did everything possible to keep me safe, and loved me so much so that much that she saved my life, and utilized a law that was made for her. You know, we never know these women’s circumstances but what we do know one thing for sure and that they all have in common. That’s the love for their child.
The age-old virgin/whore paradigm screams through this agendized third-party narrative constructed for public consumption and comfort. That personal message, now released to the public and interpreted by an entrepreneurial third party, frames Sam’s biological mother as a potential murderer, while it usurps his own latent autonomy to control his own story. His picture and adoptive name have since been posted in the media
This sadistic contradictory message is what passes for acceptable baby box “surrender” practice that neither press nor public questions:
We may not have any proof, but we just know through our super-duper psychic super-powers that your mother loved you, but would have murdered you, if we hadn’t given her the “choice” to use our box in the wall. Your mother saved your life. Your mother saved you from her own murderous intent Be grateful!
In the parlance of adoptee experience, this is adoption mindfuck at its dirtiest. A neat linguistic and psychological trick that forces adoptees to internalize the adoption lie and never to question adoption–and in the baby box case, the acquisition process. Issues of abandonment, shame, self-worth, depression, suicidal ideation, and self-loathing are the throughline of the adoptee experience. The baby box narrative with its contradictory mother-child message and celebration of abandonment and anonymity moves the bar even lower if that is possible. I hope Baby Sam’s adoptive parents see through this muck and help him. How will these kids feel 20 years from now?
Baby Sam may have to wait until he is 18 to read this note (who owns it, btw?), but thousands of people around the world can read it now courtesy of Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc. Maybe it is hypocritical of us to post it, too, but if by chance Baby Sam reads this someday he will know that he was and is not alone. That people stood up for him and his humanity and his rights. That people stood against the baby box system that turned him and his story into adoption porn–an object of entertainment and pity and exploitation. A fundraiser.
Baby Sam is one of us and we embrace him.
By the way, this is not the first time that personal correspondence from a baby box birthmother has been published. Images of a long letter written by “Heather” for Baby Mila (IN#4 ) showed up in a WRTV-TV. exclusive interview where she shared her reasons for boxing her daughter. She says she cared for Mila at home, but feared for her life and boxed her. A few days later apparently no longer in fear for her life, changed her mind and wanted to get her back. Ultimately, she decided to continue the adoption. “Heather” now volunteers for SHBB Inc, attends events, and has appeared on Beyond the Box on Facebook. We will probably never hear the backstory
We don’t expect Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc to change its publicity- hounding. Mrs Kelsey has said repeatedly, even to her friends who object to the baby show, that “her” babies and their stories are a prime source of publicity and fundraising for the movement. Build it and they will come.
Every baby is a notch on the bedpost.