Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Japan's hole in the wall for unwanted babies.

Next week Japan will join a list of several countries to operate a "baby hatch". The baby hatch (nicknamed the "cradle of storks") opens into an incubator allowing babies to be left anonymously.
Critics are worried that the hatch may encourage the abandonment of infants. Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe has spoken in opposition to the baby hatch.

Head nurse Yukiko Tajiri, said: "We will encourage people to the very end to consult so that (abandoning a baby) doesn't happen."

Baby hatches or foundling wheels have been around since the time of Pope Innocent III. In 1198 the Pope decreed that these should be installed in homes for foundlings so that women could leave their child in secret instead of killing them.

Today Baby hatches are use in one form or another in the following countries.

Czech Republic
South Africa

The United States do not have baby hatches, but 47 states allow infants younger than 72 hours to be left anonymously at places known as "safe havens", such as fire stations or hospitals.

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