Today, Lubbock City Council will vote on whether to allow for the installation of a "baby box," a device that allows for the anonymous surrendering of babies. But is it a good idea for Lubbock? 

Will a baby box promote surrendering babies?

There is no concrete way to know if the installation of a baby box has ever made someone who would otherwise raise their baby with a modicum of care and love choose instead to surrender their child.

The morality of surrendering a baby is subjective, and we cannot know the motives or intentions of every mother— if it is the mother surrendering the child. Some critics of baby boxes claim that a person could surrender a baby without the consent of both parents or that abusive parents could surrender a baby without consequences.

I'm not sure either of those arguments is particularly strong, as DNA testing could prove paternity/ maternity, should a parent come forward to claim a child. And if a child is being abused, our primary concern should be to remove the child from that situation.

Therefore, if our primary concern is saving the lives of babies with no questions asked, then installing a baby box seems like an obvious choice. 

But what about the cost?

According to KCBD, "If passed by the city council [...] the city has designated Fire Station 9 on 50th Street as its drop-off location. City staffers note this will come at a minimal cost for the city going forward since those local partners are covering it." One baby box should not be prohibitively expensive. 

Do they actually save babies?

According to Safe Haven Baby Boxes, they almost certainly have:

Safe Haven Baby Boxes has referred over 500 women to crisis pregnancy centers, assisted in 9 adoption referrals, and have had over 120 legal Safe Haven surrenders. Thirty-six babies have been surrendered in our Baby Boxes.

If Lubbock adopts a baby box, we will be the third Texas city to do so. I think it is a wise, forward-thinking choice, although I do understand and empathize if folks feel an ethical/moral pang about it.

Regardless, if you are a new mother who feels that you must surrender your baby, you can do so safely and legally at designated locations, which is always a better solution than harming a child.

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