October 5, 2005

Forget The Infant Dumpster. What You Want Is A Baby Box

baby_box_prague.jpgHey, I can admit when I'm wrong. The Infant Dumpster was a bad idea, and I shouldn't have called for its return. Did I say bad? How about suboptimal. Optimal would be a clean room, with a hotline for the anonymous mother to alert nurses immediately when she abandons her baby. It'd be something like The Baby Box. Now that'd be something I can get behind.

In yet another case of life imitating The Onion, the newest Baby Box was recently installed in a Prague charity clinic after a two-year fight with the government. And it's patterned after the 'baby hatches' that have appeared in countries all over Europe:

In April 2000, a similar "baby hatch" was installed in a Hamburg, Germany, hospital after five babies were found in recycling bins in 1999. Two of the infants died, according to Heidi Rosenfeld, a social worker for SterniPark, the Hamburg charity responsible for installing that first baby hatch.

So far, 21 babies have been "deposited" in Hamburg and 70 more boxes have been installed throughout Germany. Now Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Hungary have also installed the boxes.

Of course, it's taken ten years to get public toilets in the city, so I imagine would-be baby abandoners'll just have to keep improvising for a while.

'Baby boxes' help abandoned infants [csmonitor, via dt reader brian]

5 Comments

Wouldn't it be cheaper, easier and more proactive to just hand out condoms? And maybe have real sex ed in schools?

At least those measures might reduce the number of unwanted babies.

Hard to believe the human race has been reduced to baby deposit boxes.

And just a few posts back, we discussed fertility treatments to help people have babies. Now we provide for them to be thrown away.

Major disconnect.

Well, if I had to guess, I'd say that people who don't want babies probably aren't having fertility treatments...

I thought NYC has certain places where you can "drop off" an anwanted infants, something like a Safe Haven for Infants law. You can bring your baby to a police station, a hospital or other public institution where you can leave it w/o fear of arrest.

[true, but there's not as much comedic potential there. -ed.]

Uh, yeah. I'm fairly sure that those seeking fertility treatments aren't throwing out their hard-won babies.

I merely pointed to the ever-present disconnect in our society's approach to reproduction: Some can have 'em, but shouldn't/don't want to. Some can't have 'em but want to. Too bad we can't all get together...

Clear now?

Maybe we need to be pre approved. See "certificates of reproduction" story on See BloggingBaby

[it's here, too. -ed.]

Yeah, I read it at DT too. The comments on this topic at Blogging Baby are funnier...

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