Newborn baby left in Safe Haven Box adopted by firefighter who rescued her

Baby girl surrendered in Safe Haven box in Ocala adopted by rescuer

A newborn baby who was left in a so-called “safe haven” box in the US has found a new home with a firefighter.

The man, who asked to stay anonymous, told reporters he was working the night shift on 2 January when he heart an alarm at 2am, indicating that a baby had been left in the department’s Safe Haven Baby Box.

The system is designed so that people can surrender newborn babies who cannot be cared for.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

“To be honest, I thought it was a false alarm,” the firefighter said.

“She had a little bottle with her and she was just chilling,” he added. “I picked her up and held her. We locked eyes, and that was it. I’ve loved her ever since that moment.”

The firefighter said he and his wife had struggled to have a baby for more than 10 years and had even considered adopting. When he took the baby to the hospital, he decided to ask about adopting her.

“I didn't call my wife right away because I didn't want to wake her up, but I knew she'd be on board,” he said.

“I told them we’d completed all of our classes in the state of Florida and were registered to adopt,” he said. “All we needed was a child.”

When he eventually told his wife, she started crying.

“I was like, ‘Don’t get too excited yet,’ ” he said. “My biggest fear was that the note I wrote wouldn’t stay with [the baby] and she’d be gone. It was a very stressful few days.”

The baby, who the coupled named Zoey, ended up going home with the couple two days later and stayed with them for months before they officially adopted her in April.

“The way I found her ... this was God helping us out,” he said.

Zoey was the first baby placed in the Ocala Fire Rescue Safe Haven Baby Box, which was first unveiled in December 2020, according to a fire-department post on Facebook.

“We know this baby will be so loved by an adoptive family,” Safe Haven Baby Boxes founder Monica Kelsey said in January. “And we are so thrilled to be a part of protecting infants from abandonment.”

According to the Safe Haven Baby Box website, there are 148 active devices currently in the United States.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)