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Jackson Expects to Install First "Baby Box" in April

JACKSON, Tenn. - Tennessee Safe-Haven law allows mothers to surrender their unharmed babies to designated facilities within two weeks of the birth without being prosecuted.

The Madison County fire department and emergency medical services are two of the designated facilities in Jackson.

Christy Tillman with the Jackson EMS explains how the first baby box in Jackson will work.

“Once the mom opens the box, and places the baby in the bassinet, two alarms will go off. Initially when she opens the door the first alarm will go off to notify central dispatch here in Jackson that a baby has been placed in the box."

And Tillman tells us what happens next.

“Once the baby is placed in the bassinet, the baby crosses a plane that sets a secondary alarm as well allowing first responders to know that a baby has been placed in the box.”

After first responders retrieve the infant from the box, he or she is taken to a hospital.

From there, the department of children’s services begins the adoption process.

A baby box is a way for mothers to surrender their newborn infant anonymously.

The box is expected to be installed in the fire department soon.

“The box has a lot of safety features, along with an alarm system and temperature controls, so we have a lot of things to keep us busy until the middle of April, but hopefully by the first of May it will be up and fully functioning.”

Jackson is leading the way for surrounding counties and cities to offer their own baby box system.

“We’ve actually had several phone calls over probably the last 72 hours from some outside counties that are looking to sit down and talk with us. We actually have a phone call this evening for a county that’s already ready, and I received a phone call this morning about putting a secondary box in Madison County.”

While Jackson awaits the arrival of the baby box, mothers who need help can visit one of the Safe-Haven facilities or call the Crisis Line at 1-866-99- BABY1.

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