The West Virginia Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would allow “baby box” safe surrender locations throughout the state.
The Senate’s 32-0 vote sends the bill back to the House of Representatives to vote after a committee amendment is added and passed. The House has previously approved the bill.
West Virginia’s Safe Haven Law already allows children under 30 days to be transferred to a hospital, health center or fire department that is staffed 24 hours a day. Under the bill, a baby playpen would be equipped with an alarm system to alert those present that a child has been placed in the playpen.
‘BABY BOX’ LOCATIONS WILL DEBUT UNDER WEST VIRGINIA BILL
A bill to introduce baby boxes in West Virginia has been approved by the state House and Senate.
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The bill calls for testing and visual checks of the devices to make sure the alarm system is working. The facility must be notified within 30 seconds of a child being placed in the device, and a 911 call would be triggered if facility personnel do not respond within minutes.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes, based in Woodburn, Indiana, has set up 140 baby boxes and drawers in 10 states and says on its website that 25 babies have been turned in to the devices nationwide since 2017.