Baby Boxes founder claims Indiana DCS not doing enough to protect anonymously surrendered children being reunited with parents
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Monica Kelsey, the Founder and CEO of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, sent a passionate message to the Indiana Department of Child Services via TikTok earlier this week.
She says, “pretty sure is not enough.”
Kelsey claims that a child was surrendered in one of her Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Carmel, Indiana.
However, she says the parent has had a change of heart and wants to be reunited with her child, which Kelsey says is a rare thing to happen for children surrendered in a Safe Haven Baby Box, but the design of the baby boxes create a problem with getting proof.
The reason why the boxes are so popular are because of the anonymity,” Kelsey says. “No one sees parents place these children in these boxes.”
So, if a parent is to goes to DCS to be reunified with their child, like in this case, there’s no video or eyewitness accounts that they dropped off that child. So, it’s up to Indiana Department of Child Services to find other proof.
However, Kelsey claims what DCS is asking for isn’t enough, that they should do a DNA test to confirm the relationship.
“We’re getting emails, actually, from other people saying that DNA testing is not a normal thing for the department of child services, which I find is absolutely crazy,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey was approached by the parent’s family in this case, worried that Indiana DCS wasn’t doing enough to protect the child. So she took to social media to try and force the government agency to do more.
Kelsey’s videos have been video and shared tens of thousands of times, highlighting the situation. She says Indiana DCS needs protocol in place for anonymous surrenders.
“When we reunify with the Department of Child Services, the Department of Child Services has an obligation to make sure that this child is going back to a safe home, to the rightful parents’ home and that this child is not going to end up abused or dead,” Kelsey explained. “I’m not saying that is the case here, I’m just say we have to be 100 percent sure that this child is going to be protected by the biological mother based on the investigation by the Department of Child Services.”
Kelsey says as of this Thursday morning, a Judge ordered an emergency DNA test to determine the relationship and hopes this will create change within the Department of Child Services, saying “I hope that in more cases in the future if these parents do come back that DCS has a protocol in place that they establish maternity or paternity before anything else.”
Fort Wayne’s NBC reached out to the Indiana Department of Child Services on Thursday to learn more about this situation, but they have not responded at the time of this story.
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