‘Baby box’ bill passes in the House

by | Mar 4, 2020

A bill that would protect newborns and provide a safe haven for them was unanimously approved by the House of Wednesday.

The proposal passed with a 117-2 vote, with only two Democrats — Representatives Susan Valdes and Matt Willhite — opposing it.

The measure (HB 1217), introduced by Rep. Mike Beltran, would authorize hospitals, emergency medical services stations, and fire stations to install newborn safety devices to accept surrendered newborn infants. The boxes, which will be privately funded, are similar to after-hours deposits at banks and are temperature controlled.

“I am confident that this bill will save babies that would otherwise be illegally abandoned,” Beltran said, following Wednesday’s vote.

The legislation would expand the existing Florida Safe Haven Law to include baby boxes as a legal option to surrender a baby. That law allows parents to safely relinquish their unwanted newborns to emergency medical services stations.

As it stands, it is legal to surrender a baby to a fire station without being questioned or being arrested. The face-to-face interaction, however, can be a big deterrent for people. Such an interaction discourages mothers from leaving newborns, causing mothers to abandon their newborns in unsafe places. Beltran’s bill seeks to remedy this issue, cutting out the interaction altogether.

Similar boxes currently exist in several states — including Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Arizona. They are located at fire stations and hospitals and allow the parent to remain anonymous.

Illegal infant abandonments continue to plague the state of Florida. The Sunshine State currently ranks among the highest in such cases of neglect.19 cases on abandonment have reported in the state since 2017.

A Senate companion bill (SB 864), introduced by Senator Dennis Baxley, has stalled in committees. Democrats like Senator Lauren Book has been a vocal opponent of the bill.

If the bill becomes law, the boxes will come at no cost to Floridians and will be fully funded by the Safe Haven Baby Boxes, a non-profit that offers ​services​ that go beyond the installation of a baby box.

2 Comments

  1. Garl Pink

    “Unanimously approved by the House of Wednesday. It passes unanimously…with only two people “apposing it.” Have you no editor?

    Reply
  2. Jean & Michael Morrisey

    You’re buying into a $25,000 pig feeding trough!
    We have to ask you why your city even considered the worst safe haven law awareness, and what we know is a scam, for your state.
    Please take a look at this: https://youtu.be/iqchlHSCzWE
    It’s a felony to impersonate an officer of the Federal Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA itself, and use this obvious scam “letter” to rip-off people for a $25,000+ so-called “baby box.”
    That “letter” was obviously written on a cocktail napkin in a drunken stupor because if you look at FDA determination letters they look like this very recent one — for another company: https://www.fda.gov/media/124106/download
    Only somebody with a very low education level would try a scam like this, “We looked at your web site and determined..” Everything you read on the web is true! This advocate has a barely passing a GED level of education, but slick talks her way into her confidence game/scam.
    Funny how NOBODY has ever seen any documents from the FDA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Underwriters Laboratories, or any agency anywhere in the world that has looked at these scam, so-called “baby boxes.” And there will never be a document showing these “boxes” have come close to any regulatory compliance with any agency that has jurisdiction over these medical/safety devices.
    Get ready to read the headlines when these scam “boxes” are all ordered to be shut down by several federal agencies, for the felonies they have committed!
    Demand the documentation from this known scam artist. If you do she will first avoid you like the plague, then spit nothing but hate at you!!
    That’s when you know you’re dealing with a felony level scam artist!
    So sorry your state is being ripped-off by this known scam artist.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.