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Baby Box could be coming to Columbia City

Discussions by Columbia City Council have begun after a child was safely surrendered at the CC Fire Department two weeks ago.

Posted: Mar 12, 2019 3:52 PM
Updated: Mar 13, 2019 8:36 AM

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WFFT) - A child was safely surrendered at the Columbia City Fire Department nearly two weeks ago.

Columbia City mayor Ryan Daniel said the surrender was "...the first one we’ve experienced, I think ever, here in the city of Columbia City.”

Mayor Daniel says the incident has sparked some conversations about whether or not they need a baby box.

"Out of that [the surrender] came the discussion whether or not it made sense to go this route. Multiple other communities have installed baby boxes around the state of Indiana."

Safe Haven Baby Boxes are located in 13 locations across the country, with three of those locations here in Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio, with two more in the test phase. Columbia City might be the 6th, and it could come at little cost to taxpayers as a few groups have already come forward wanting to help with the cost of installation.

Columbia City council members brought the topic up for discussion at Tuesday's council meeting. They also heard from the founder of Safe Haven Baby Box.

The general consensus around Columbia City when FOX 55 spoke to some residents? People are on board with the idea of having a baby box in town.

Joshua Holt, local resident, said "I believe it’s a good idea for the simple fact that the baby could be getting worse treatment somewhere else and there’s always people out there that’s looking for children that can’t have children."

Beth Wood, a Whitley County resident who knows the struggles of being a single mother, thinks a baby box is a great idea.

"I think it’s a great idea. If you know in your heart that you cannot care for that baby, you have options, and this is safe for the baby, it’s good for the baby, and maybe that’ll make it easier for you," Wood said.

Ultimately, council wants to have the discussion because they care about their citizens.

Mayor Daniel said of council, "They have a strong interest in protecting the lives of especially children."

Mayor Daniel says the vote to install a baby box could happen as early as the end of March.

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