Baby Box Ban: UN Urges Europe To End Legal Baby Abandonment Program

By Amir Khan on November 26, 2012 10:43 AM EST

Baby Box
A baby box ban, which would remove the boxes that allow European mothers to anonymously and legally abandon their babies from hospitals, has been proposed by a United Nations Committee. (Photo: Creative Commons)

A baby box ban, which would remove the boxes that allow European mothers to anonymously and legally abandon their babies from hospitals, has been proposed by a United Nations Committee. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child says the nearly 100 boxes in Germany alone violate the rights of children and make it too easy for parents to abandon their unwanted child.

The baby box ban would remove incubators found in hospitals across Europe. The baby box can be opened from the outside, and allow mothers to abandon their baby in a safe, legal way. The baby is put into the warm baby box, and two minutes later, an alarm goes off to alert hospital staff.

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"The mother has enough time to leave without anyone seeing her," explained German pastor Gabriele Stangl to Fox News. "The important thing is that her baby is now in a safe place."

But the UN committee says the practice violates the child's rights, and is seeking to institute a baby box ban across Europe.

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

Herczog said that the baby boxes provide too easy of a way for parents to abandon their children.

"Instead of providing help and addressing some of the social problems and poverty behind these situations, we're telling people they can just leave their baby and run away," she said.

There are nearly 100 baby boxes in Germany, with more in Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Switzerland and Belgium. Hundreds of babies have been left in these baby boxes over the past decade, according to the Global Post.

But while the boxes may be safe, the UN still wants to implement the baby box ban.

"Baby boxes do not operate in the best interest of the child or the mother," Herczog said.

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