FOLEY — A bill passed this year in Alabama will allow baby boxes to be placed across the state, and one of them is going to Baldwin County. An unknown donor pledged money for the first 10 boxes to be placed in Baldwin County, Mobile, Auburn, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, the Muscle Shoals area, Dothan, Anniston and Montgomery.

House Bill 473 was sponsored by State Rep. Donna Givens (R-Loxley).

"As a pro-life Christian, this bill is an extension of my belief that every child's life is absolutely sacred and must be protected," Givens previously told 1819 News. "We want mothers and fathers who are unable to care for their babies to have safer, more compassionate options to leave infants where they can receive care before going to loving homes."

The new law allows mothers unable to keep their babies to safely drop them off within 45 days of giving birth.

The Foley Fire Station will house the box in Baldwin County. Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby said his staff worked to get one of the boxes put in the city because of the area's large traffic.

"We had some internal conversation asking, 'Why can't Foley be one of those?" Darby said. "As busy as we are with as many visitors with a demographic that is evolving all the time and our proximity to the South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, why couldn't we be one?"

Darby said fire stations across the country are typically considered safe places, so he believes it is a good option for the baby boxes. The fire department will prepare by retrofitting the station and having the site ready in September when funding becomes available.

 "Obviously, some things will have to be done," he told the Foley City Council." And then if that involves some costs, I'll obviously be coming back to you to see what we can do there. But I want to make you aware of it. I think it's a great thing for us. I think it's a great thing for our area. We hope it's never needed, but we want it to be there in case it is."

The state program will ensure babies placed in safe haven boxes are cared for until being placed in a home.

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