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Baby Boxes- Should they be illegal?

Posted by on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM
  • 43 Replies

Europe mulls banning 'boxes' for abandoned babies

BERLIN (AP) — German pastor Gabriele Stangl says she will never forget the harrowing confession she heard in 1999. A woman said she had been brutally raped, got pregnant and had a baby. Then she killed it and buried it in the woods near Berlin.

Stangl wanted to do something to help women in such desperate situations. So the following year, she convinced Berlin's Waldfriede Hospital to create the city's first so-called "baby box." The box is actually a warm incubator that can be opened from an outside wall of a hospital where a desperate parent can anonymously leave an unwanted infant.

A small flap opens into the box, equipped with a motion detector. An alarm goes off in the hospital to alert staff two minutes after a baby is left.

"The mother has enough time to leave without anyone seeing her," Stangl said. "The important thing is that her baby is now in a safe place."

Baby boxes are a revival of the medieval "foundling wheels," where unwanted infants were left in revolving church doors. In recent years, there has been an increase in these contraptions — also called hatches, windows or slots in some countries — and at least 11 European nations now have them, according to United Nations figures. They are technically illegal, but mostly operate in a gray zone as authorities turn a blind eye.

But they have drawn the attention of human rights advocates who think they are bad for the children and merely avoid dealing with the problems that lead to child abandonment. At a meeting last month, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child said baby boxes should be banned and is pushing that agenda to the European Parliament.

There are nearly 100 baby boxes in Germany. Poland and the Czech Republic each have more than 40 while Italy, Lithuania, Russia and Slovakia have about 10 each. There are two in Switzerland, one in Belgium and one being planned in the Netherlands.

In the last decade, hundreds of babies have been abandoned this way; it's estimated one or two infants are typically left at each location every year, though exact figures aren't available.

"They are a bad message for society," said Maria Herczog, a Hungarian child psychologist on the U.N. committee. "These boxes violate children's rights and also the rights of parents to get help from the state to raise their families," she said.

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by on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM
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by Anonymous 1 on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM
1 mom liked this
I think people just need something to complain about
by on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:31 PM
10 moms liked this

 I would rather a woman leave the unwanted child in the "baby box" than to kill th ebaby or abandon the child from fear!! it says they are incubated and have alarms in them that alert the staff to the baby being there......and the babies are more likely to find a family than older children that were unwanted!!

power bitch slap internetMuslim Cat prays towards Mecca. LoL by: wirgylovesamletoandshayaprofessor cat. reply[]

by Platinum Member on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:33 PM
4 moms liked this

This seems no different to me than the Safe Haven law. 

by Anonymous 2 on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:43 PM
4 moms liked this

Okay, so here is the thing. 

Is it ideal? No. Does it solve all of the worlds problems? No. But you know what?  It gives people who don't have any other option an option. We complain about abortion, we complain about giving children up for adoption, we complain about crappy parents who shouldn't be parents, but who are.

You can't stop people from being sexually assaulted, and other forms of abuse, and you can't take away women's options then be upset when awful things happen - like women killing their newborns. In societies with complex issues, social constructs diverse sets of values, morals and religions, you can't appease everyone. So - I think that these stations are a hell of a lot better than other alternatives that women considering leaving their child in a warm box while they await medical attention is a damn good option.  Children's rights? Come on.

by Silver Member on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM
Well i dont think its a bad idea. But i would never use it.
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by Platinum Member on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM
3 moms liked this

How could any sane person seriously be against these? If a person doesn't want to raise a child, but doesn't have safe access to give the child up, the child will end up either dead or abused (most of the time).

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Academic pushing Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosey, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it raising my child. I believe that my "place" is in the home caring for my husband and children. My husband is head of our home and I *love* my life! (just getting the controversial stuff out of the way!)             Aimee

by on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:48 PM
1 mom liked this

I think it's better than what happens to most unwanted babies.

I would much rather a baby be left in a heated box where it would be retrieved 2 minutes later, than buried in the woods or kept in a teenager's room in a shoe box.

by on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM
I don't get what the problem is with these?
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by on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:52 PM
Quoting PhoenixsMommy10:

This seems no different to me than the Safe Haven law. 

by on Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:55 PM

i dont get the problem

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