Chief Brian Hendricks said the child was several hours old. After examination at the hospital, she was placed in state custody. It’s unclear when she’ll be adopted. Hendricks, at a news conference, acknowledged the difficult decision the mother faced in dropping off the newborn. “To that mother, I would like to say that we loved that baby and cared for that baby the minute we laid eyes on her and the minute we opened up that door,” Hendricks said. He described the child’s condition as “perfect.” “She is just as healthy as could be.” State Rep. Jim Murphy, a Republican from St. Louis County who sponsored the 2021 bill, said he was moved to tears as he phoned Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher and told him about the successful use of the box. “I told him, ‘If we do nothing else, today we did something important. We saved a life,”‘ Murphy said. Missouri law allows a Missouri parent to surrender a newborn up to 45 days old without prosecution, as long as it is done safely. The baby box law was meant to provide a convenient way to do it. The box includes a nursery bed with heating and air conditioning. It is accessible through a small door on the exterior of a fire station or hospital. An alarm informs 911 that a baby has been placed in the box. The exterior door locks from the outside; personnel on the inside open an interior door to retrieve the infant.
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January 13, 2024