Hospitals Should Make It Easy for Moms Who Want to Abandon Their Babies

Say What!? 57

newbornBack in 1999, German pastor Gabriele Stangl heard a confession from a woman who said she had been brutally raped, became pregnant and had a baby that she then killed and buried in the woods near Berlin.

There are a lot of women in desperate situations like these on a daily basis all over the world and Stangl wanted to do something to help. In 2000, she convinced Waldfriede Hospital to create Berlin’s first "baby box." It’s actually a warm incubator that can be opened from an outside wall of a hospital. A parent can anonymously leave an infant someplace safe. A small door opens into the box, equipped with a motion detector, causing an alarm to go off in the hospital to alert staff two minutes after a baby is left. The parent has enough time to leave without being seen.

At a meeting last month, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child said baby boxes should be banned. Human rights advocates think baby boxes are bad for children and merely avoid dealing with the problems that lead to child abandonment. I think murdering your newborn and throwing them in the trash is bad for children.

Baby boxes should be mandatory in every hospital in every country in the world. We need to make it less difficult for women who cannot raise their babies to give them to someone who can find them a good home. Does it sound like an easy way out? Maybe. Maybe it's letting irresponsible people off the hook, but the consequences are too great to ignore.

How many teens are in the news each year for killing their newborns to hide it from their parents? How many women are so overwhelmed at the thought of raising an unwanted baby that they abort? How many moms have killed their children because they just couldn't cope?

It happens all the time in the news. These baby boxes or the option of anonymous birth, if better known, could save children’s lives all over the world.

Do you think baby boxes should be banned?

Image via Nina Matthews Photography/Flickr

human rights, women's issues


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Reepi... Reepicheep.CSL

Do you know what it is like to be abandoned as a baby and have absolutely no idea about your history? Do you know what it is like to always wonder what your genetic make up is? What your medical history is? 
Do you know what it is like to have children never being totally sure what you could be passing on to them? It could be something as simple as unexpected blue eyes or it could be a genetic blood disorder.
Until you know what it is like to have those questions, then maybe you shouldn't encourage something as drastic as abandoning a child without leaving behind any ability to identify them. Adoption is an option!  

kelti... kelticmom

People who abandon or murder their children obviously are not thinking clearly or that adoption is even on the table! Would you rather someone smother and throw away their baby that they just can't deal with, or neglect it, abuse it, or abandon it in the trash or woods ---- or have a safe place to take it, where they know it will be cared for?

kelti... kelticmom

And btw, I was adopted at birth, a closed adoption. I have since met my birth mom, found her on fb of all places, yet I can say without a shadow of a doubt, my genetic make up, medical background has never interested me one bit. I am more than my DNA, if I have a history of cancer in my family, I can't do anything to change it - just live as healthily and get all necessary tests like everyone should anyway, and as far as passing genes on to my kids, I didn't do genetic testing on my son when I was pregnant, bc what does that do? I would never abort.

Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

In a perfect world,all  people would want the babies they carry or at least would be responsible and would be awesome,loving parents.Unfortunately this is not a perfect world. People of all races,cultures,religions and class from countries all around the world use the baby boxes. I would much rather that be the option these people use than one that may bring the baby pain or harm...Don't ban the boxes.Obviously the people that live in these places see the need for them or they wouldn't be there...

mothe... motherof2inFL

why would you ban something that could save a life?  there are so many people desperately wanting babies.  i get tired of reading in the news about teens who killed their babies because they felt like there was no other way.  so tragic and unnecessary. 

amazz... amazzonia

I don't see how someone can have anything against the baby box,  I honestly thought every hospital had a program like that. Being abandoned is sad, but being killed is even sadder. Not all women can go thru adoption, many women hide their pregnancies and then end up killing the newborn, I'm sorry but baby box are a wonderful thing, and people who judges the mother that use them are just mean and evil 

Mary Cimino

My Great-Grandmother was abandoned. She was found in a corn field in 1903, she was an estimated one to three years old. She searched for her mother all her life only to find her after she died. I was 13 when my Great-Grandmother died, she told me what it was like not knowing who you are but was grateful for being found in time and given to a loving home. She later found out her mother was shunned by her family for getting pregnant with her, she felt like she had no choice. My Great-Grandmother was behind these baby boxes and abandonment laws saying that they are saving lives because if they existed back then she would have had a home from the start. She went on to adopt three abandoned babies and one was my grandpa who found his mother later in life as well. I know this is one of the few good stories you'll hear about this but remember, there's someone out there who's willing to adopt, these boxes are helping save lives just like my Great-Grandmothers was saved.

we2an... we2angels

I think if it saves neglect, abuse and murder is a great idea. It's better to have these same children end up with those parents that didn't want them being horrifically abused?

Birth control should be easier to access, babies should be able to go to loving homes.

Venae Venae

You don't have to take them home from the hospital - you just leave.  

That being said, the only problem I see w/just leaving babies is that they can't ever be adopted, can they?  They just go to foster care - because no one has signed away parental rights.  And if a woman does, but the father doesn't, he can go to court and get the baby.  Plus, there's always a chance that mom changes her mind and comes back for the kid.  

Am I wrong in understanding this?  Can abandoned babies be adopted w/o a parent signing away rights?

Reepi... Reepicheep.CSL


You were lucky to be put up for adoption. I was abandoned. I was blessed with a wonderful family that adopted me, but I have full knowledge that someone somewhere in the world didn't care enough about me as a human being (let alone as someone who was genetically connected to them) to hand me over to an adoption agency or to have the adoption set up during the 9 MONTHS of pregnancy that they have to get ready.
Honestly, sure the safe haven laws are good, but the day that they become the new way to get rid of your child is the day that adoption stops being an option. Why should someone take the time and hassle of placing a child for adoption when they can just dump them in a box?
This leaves children with no way to connect to anything in the past. It is nice that it didn't matter to you, but you had that option if you wanted to look into it, anyone who is abandoned wouldn't have the option.  

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