Firefighter Adopts Baby Who Was Placed in Florida Safe Haven Baby Box
In a heartwarming story from Florida, a firefighter has officially adopted a baby who was placed in the state’s only Safe Haven baby box. Vincent, whose last name has been withheld for privacy reasons, was on duty during the early hours of January 2nd when the alarm connected to the baby box in Ocala, central Florida, went off.
Dispatch called the station to inform them that the baby box had been activated. Vincent, accompanied by another firefighter, hurriedly checked the box, and to their surprise, they found a baby girl named Zoey inside. Vincent and his wife, Katy, have since adopted Zoey, who was the first baby to be placed in the Safe Haven Baby Box since its installation at the MLK First Responder Campus in West Ocala.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes, a nonprofit organization based in Indiana, provides temperature-controlled baby boxes at hospitals and fire stations across multiple states, allowing parents to legally surrender a child. When the baby boxes are used, an alarm is triggered, automatically notifying emergency responders.
The safe haven law, which the baby box system is an extension of, has been in place since 1999, starting in Texas. It enables parents who are unable or unwilling to care for their newborn child to legally surrender their baby at any designated safe haven location without facing any questions or repercussions. Currently, safe haven laws exist in all 50 states, although the age limits for surrendering a newborn can vary.
Vincent, also a trained paramedic, immediately began a medical examination of baby Zoey upon discovering her and called for hospital transport. Zoey was taken to a local hospital for a mandatory observation period, and Vincent was fortunate enough to ride in the ambulance with her.
While at the hospital, Vincent left a detailed note with baby Zoey, expressing his and his wife’s desire to adopt her. They had been trying unsuccessfully to have children for nearly a decade and felt a strong connection with the baby. Vincent was unsure if the note would reach the caseworker, but to his delight, within a couple of days, his wife Katy was able to bring Zoey home from the hospital. In April, they officially became Zoey’s parents through the legal adoption process.
Vincent shared Zoey’s story to send a message to her birth mother. He wanted her to know that the decision she made to place Zoey in the baby box was the right one. Vincent emphasized that the focus of the story is not about him or his wife but about the beautiful little girl who was given the chance of life. He hopes that Zoey’s birth mother sees the love and care that Zoey is now receiving and can find comfort in knowing that her daughter is safe and loved.
The firefighter expressed gratitude that Zoey’s birth mother chose to give her a life and that she made the right decision by placing her in the baby box. He also expressed joy and appreciation for the opportunity to have Zoey in their lives after waiting and praying for so long. Nearly six months since being placed in the baby box, Zoey is thriving and reaching all her developmental milestones.
Vincent and Katy cherish every moment with Zoey, knowing the journey they went through to become a family. They are enjoying all the new experiences, from introducing Zoey to different foods to simply being together as a family.