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Firefighter adopts abandoned baby he found in drop box

Firefighter adopts abandoned baby he found in drop box

The firefighter and his wife had been trying for ten years to start a family

A firefighter and his wife have adopted a baby girl that had been left in a drop box at his fire station.

Baby Zoey was first found in the box installed at the Ocala fire station in Florida on 5 January.

The couple - who have chosen to remain anonymous - had been trying to have children for ten years.

The adoptive mother said: "We've been trying for almost a decade to have a family, and everything has kind of not worked out for us.

"So we are like, 'Don't get our hopes up, don't get our hopes up'.

Drop boxes are installed in fire stations and emergency response buildings all over the US to allow mothers to leave their babies in a safe place if they feel they can't look after them.

Little Zoey had been dropped off in this box.
WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando

Monica Kelsey, the CEO of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, said: "We've had 10 [babies] this year in 2023, this is a record year for us.

"But it's working. And this little girl is proof that these boxes are needed in Florida."

Zoey's adoptive mother has even praised her daughter's biological mother for taking her to the fire station.

She said: "I think it's very respectable, what she did.

"We really felt in our hearts that we wanted to let the birth mom know in some way, shape or form that she is safe, she is happy, and she is very loved."

When Zoey's adoptive father found her, she had a shoelace tied around her umbilical cord.

Monica Kelsey is proud of the work she's done setting up safe haven boxes for babies.
Facebook/Safe Haven Baby Boxes

But from the moment he saw her, he knew immediately that he wanted to adopt her.

The firefighter later told USA Today in an email: “When I walked into the front office where the box is located, I opened it and saw my beautiful daughter laying in it.”

He then rushed her to the hospital and soon began talking with his wife about starting the adoption process.

"It wasn't real until I got the call I could go in there with her in the NICU," the mother admitted.

"Everyone was just in disbelief honestly that she was hand-delivered to us almost and that everything had kind of worked itself out to where we could bring her home two days later."

The box in Ocala is one of 134 nationwide, which have been used more than two dozen times since 2017.

Kelsey has expressed her pride that the boxes are making a difference, saying: "You know I never really looked at myself as someone who was going to change other people's lives.

"I just wanted to put a few boxes here in Indiana and save the two babies a year that we were finding deceased."

Featured Image Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

Topics: US News, Health, Life