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The United Nations is increasingly concerned at the spread in Europe of “baby boxes” where infants can be secretly abandoned by parents, warning that the practice “contravenes the right of the child to be known and cared for by his or her parents”, the Guardian has learned.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which reports on how well governments respect and protect children’s human rights, is alarmed at the prevalence of the hatches – usually outside a hospital – which allow unwanted newborns to be left in boxes with an alarm or bell to summon a carer.
The committee, a group of 18 international human rights experts based in Geneva, says that while “foundling wheels” and baby hatches had disappeared from Europe in the last century, almost 200 have been installed across the continent in the past decade in nations as diverse as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Latvia. Since 2000, more than 400 children have been abandoned in the hatches, with faith groups and right-wing politicians spearheading the revival in the controversial practice....
There is evidence that the baby box idea is popular. A Swiss poll in 2011 found 87% saying baby boxes were “very useful or useful” and more than a quarter of respondents thought every hospital should have one.
She likened the pro-baby box movements in Europe to the religious right in the US. “Very similar to the United States where we have the spread of the Safe Haven programme with baby boxes in 50 states since 1999. Now we have MEPs arguing for baby boxes and they just reject the convention.”
Safe-haven laws (also known in some states as "Baby Moses laws") are statutes in the United States that decriminalize the leaving of unharmed infants with statutorily designated private persons so that the child becomes a ward of the state. "Safe-haven" laws typically let parents remain nameless to the court, often using a numbered bracelet system as the only means of linking the baby to the mother. Some states treat safe-haven surrenders as child dependency or abandonment, with a complaint being filed for such in juvenile court. The parent either defaults or answers the complaint. Others treat safe-haven surrenders as adoption surrenders, hence a waiver of parental rights (see parental responsibility). Police stations, hospitals, rescue squads, and fire houses are all typical locations to which the safe-haven law applies.
Texas was the first state to enact a “Baby Moses Law” in 1999.
Controversy has arisen out the safe-haven law enacted in Nebraska in July 2008. The Nebraska law has been interpreted to define a child as anyone under 18, and has resulted in the desertion of teenage children. Under this law, at least 35 non-infant children were dropped off in Nebraska hospitals in a four month span. The law was changed in November 2008, allowing only infants up to 30 days old to be abandoned.
Originally posted by Domo1
It seems so ridiculous that it's almost funny, but actually highlights a real tragedy.
I suppose you can't really call someone who has an unwanted pregnancy and wishes to get rid of the child via dumping 'responsible', but perhaps we could ensure that when handing over a child it is actually given to someone face to face, even if anonymously.
I'm not judging people that feel ill equipped to deal with the responsibility of having a child. I certainly don't feel responsible enough to manage it. It's amazing me and my dog are fed and bathed regularly . That being said, how could you put a baby in a box? What about medical issues in the child? Do you just leave a note? What if the alarm system were to fail and the little one sits there for too long? What if the little one starts choking before someone can get to it?
Originally posted by CosmicEgg
This really comes down to society making life too complicated for people to cope with. We live in a seriously diseased civilization. A greater sense of respect and value for other people would go a very long way to helping all strata of society. Allowing people to pursue their happiness without so much bureaucracy and other complications would assist a great deal as well. We need better values, greater security, greater opportunity, and general benevolence. Presently, we're grossly lacking in all of the above and that makes people do things they really don't necessarily want to but let's face it, women with children have always been the most vulnerable segment of society. Policies haven't changed to make that better either, to the contrary in fact.
You can legislate rights all you want and call these women anything you like, but if you're marginalized by society survival becomes more difficult. How can a single working woman with low income and barely enough to subsist on herself then be available, body and mind, for her child? How will she manage? Society lays all the blame at her feet while offering her precious little, if any, assistance whatsoever. And to whose benefit? Neither mother nor child. Neither family nor community.
People who feel loved and supported manage to stay in more secure situations in their lives. People who are marginalized and otherwise cast to their fate often don't fare so well. Why would we instate policies that make that life even more unfortunate when we could, with some effort and genuine understanding, create policies and programs that offer support to those people?
We need to change our mindset. Help, not hinder.
Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by SickeningTruths
Or what if these babies are funding a new army??
I don't understand what you mean. Could you elaborate a bit? I hiked with the pup today and the mind and body are both a little tired.
“The baby box has two doors – the outer ones are for mothers, or fathers, who want to give up their child, the inside ones are for doctors or in this case, town hall employees. The box is permanently heated and air-conditioned and there is a stable temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius. If a child is put in a baby box and the doors are shut, the alarm instantly alerts someone, who calls an ambulance, or if it is in a hospital, a pediatrician.”
It's a horrible situation, but let's be real here. Would I rather have them put in a baby box that triggers somebody to come and get them, or have them found in a garbage dumpster?
Originally posted by lifecitizen
I think the baby boxes are a good idea, do we really want babies ending up in garbage bins?
The babies have a chance this way and there are plenty of people who want to adopt.
A young Mar Vista woman who attended her high school prom in May now walks into a courtroom wearing a blue L.A. County jail jumpsuit. Alejandra Gomez, facing a murder charge, is accused of secretly giving birth to a baby boy, who died after she dumped him in a trash can earlier this year. A former USC student, Linda Chu, is serving a five-year term in a San Joaquin Valley prison for strangling her newborn daughter, then dumping her into a trash chute that serviced her dormitory. A state law that takes effect on Jan. 1 aims to save such babies. The law, part of a national trend to address the issue of so-called "dumpster babies," will allow mothers to leave unwanted newborns anonymously at hospital emergency rooms within 72 hours of birth without the threat of prosecution. Mothers will also have two weeks to change their minds. "Maybe it would have helped our situation," said the father of a Santa Ana 17-year-old who is serving a four-year term in a California Youth Authority facility for throwing her newborn son out a second-story apartment bedroom window in July 1997. "Our situation is in the past. It doesn't do us any good." (The baby survived and has been adopted.) As the new law is about to take effect, the finishing touches are also being put on a pro bono ad campaign to get the word to pregnant women in desperate straits.