HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — It’s called the “Save Haven Baby Box,” and city officials in Hobbs credit it with saving the life of a newborn boy.
An anonymous woman surrendered her baby at a Hobbs’ fire station Saturday afternoon, with the box used for the first time in New Mexico.
The climate-controlled incubator sent out an alert that the box had been opened.
Fire Station 1 officials said the baby was immediately taken to a hospital and was deemed healthy.
The child now is in the custody of New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department.
The baby box in Hobbs was dedicated in May, about 1 1/2 years after a teenager in the city made national news for throwing her newborn into a trash bin. She was later sentenced to 16 years in prison.
That case spurred new conversations in New Mexico communities and among legislators about the state’s safe haven law, which allows parents to leave a baby younger than 90 days at a safe location without criminal consequences.
Lawmakers approved a bill last year to expand New Mexico’s safe haven program and provide funds to build one baby box for every county where an infant can be left.
So far, the only other Safe Haven Baby Box in the state is at an Espanola Fire Station. But legislators said the next box will be dedicated in Belen next month with Carlsbad, Roswell and Portales being considered for future sites.