Chesterfield baby box to be operational this summer

May 16—CHESTERFIELD — The box has been installed, but there's more work to be done before the Safe Haven Baby Box becomes operational this summer.

Installing a concrete pad via which parents can approach the box is the first item on the town's list.

The pad is expected to be installed this week, according to Jamey Burrows, chief of East Madison Fire Protection Territory.

The alarm system has already been installed. However, more electrical work is needed to make sure it goes off at the right time.

From there, the box will be tested multiple times before being put to use.

A mixture of an estimated $10,000 state grant and donations will fund the estimated $21,000 in total project costs.

The town has received roughly $14,632 in donations as of Tuesday, according to Clerk-Treasurer Debbie Dunham.

Once the box is operational, it will be dedicated or "blessed" by representatives from the Safe Haven organization and will be used henceforth.

These boxes allow parents to surrender their babies anonymously in compliance with Indiana's Safe Haven Law.

Such a law allows parents to surrender an infant without fear of prosecution provided there are no signs of abuse.

If a baby is placed in the box, an alarm will sound, alerting emergency personnel to check the box.

The baby will then be examined by a medical professional before being handed to the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Madison County also has baby boxes in Elwood, Edgewood and Pendleton.

Follow Caleb Amick on Twitter @AmickCaleb. Contact him at or 765-648-4254.