State’s first Safe Haven Baby Boxes boxes to be placed in Jackson

JACKSON, Tenn. — At Tuesday’s Jackson City Council special called meeting, the consideration of a lease agreement for Safe Haven Baby Boxes passed on new business.

The Safe Haven Baby Boxes are a new component to the Safe Haven Baby Law. They will provide a resource for a mother to anonymously surrender her baby to a designated and safe baby box, located at Jackson Fire Department Station #2.

“It’s an anonymous way for her to surrender her baby versus the stigma of maybe taking her baby to an ER or a fire department or a police department,” said Christy Tillman, communications supervisor for Jackson Med-Link at West Tennessee Healthcare. “So obviously the goal is to save the baby and we want healthy babies. But also through this program, it will provide resources to the mother.”

But what if the mother changes her mind after surrendering the baby?

“Within the 45 days of surrendering the baby, the mother still has rights,” Tillman said. “Once the baby is safely taken to the hospital, the hospital will then be in contact with DCS. They will work with them to find placement for the baby. There is already a list of families wanting to adopt Safe Haven babies. But then, the mother still has rights, so within that 45 days, she can still contact DCS, she can still decide to have her baby back.”

It will be a big push for the whole community to get the word out.

“We’ll go out to schools, different groups, reach out to our community. It’ll be advertised via billboard that’s included in the funding for this project,” said Jana Compton, training officer for the Jackson Fire Department. “Make sure that mothers understand there is this resource here and kind of what is included in that resource, as far as steps they have to take, how the law even impacts them.”

JFD Station #2 was selected because of its proximity to the hospital, allowing an estimated five minute time span for the baby to be rescued by an ambulance.

In other news, the City of Jackson is looking forward to celebrating the Bicentennial this weekend.

“I think the Bicentennial Committee has done a phenomenal job, you know, being inclusive of every pocket of the city and county and having those those really individualized celebrations,” said City of Jackson Mayor Scott Conger. “Just restoring and instilling community pride for where we live, for our city, not only our individual neighborhood communities. We’re all so unique across the city and across the county, but we all want the same thing. You want a better neighborhood and want a better Jackson.”

The Bicentennial celebration will be this Friday and all day Saturday. Click here to learn more.

For more news in the Jackson area, click here.

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