Drop Box for Unwanted Babies Saves Face

Down the hatch?Down the hatch?Two more babies have been left in the Stork's Cradle at Kumamoto's Jikei Hospital this month, bringing the total to 6 since the controversial program was instituted last May. For concerned doctors and nurses at the hospital, the "konotori no yurikago" (stork cradle) baby hatch has been an unqualified success. An official at Jikei Hospital was quoted by Japan's Kyodo News Service as saying "Maybe there are some people who are suspicious about it, but we should not pretend not to see them and let them die. Babies are innocent."

Preparing a warm welcomePreparing a warm welcome
Jikei Hospital's baby hatch consists of a small door located in the hospital wall which, when opened, reveals an infant-sized incubated bed upon which a baby can be left. Several minutes after the door is closed, an alarm bell rings to alert hospital staff who see to the baby's needs.

Originally conceived in Germany, the Stork's Cradle provides a safe, anonymous place for mothers to leave unwanted newborns. "By installing the hatch, we want to rescue both parents and babies," continued the unnamed official. Some may consider the concept of a drop-off box for babies as being inhumane, but for desperate Japanese mothers who for whatever reason feel they cannot keep their child, the baby hatch has proven itself to be a life-saver. (via The Japan Times)

Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer

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Aug 27, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Change the Name!

Maybe if it were renamed the "Baby Recycling Center" we would have fewer babies in garbage bags and dumpsters.  Anyone who doesn't want her baby can drop it off and have it recycled to a family that can (and wants to) use it.

Sep 10, 2007
by Gloria Campos
Gloria Campos's picture

Better than the alternative.

I'd rather an unwanted baby be left here than in the garbage so I like this program. Good find Steve.


Aug 27, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

...or a Wal-Mart toilet

Soon as i saw the original news item i remembered the poor woman who walked into a Wal-Mart and walked out 10 minutes later, leaving her abandoned newborn in the toilet. Put aside the politics for a change - give desperate people viable alternatives and they WILL use them! And, lives will be saved.

Aug 27, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Anonymous Drop Off?

Wouldn't there be videocameras in the hallways capturing the mother (or whomever) doing the drop-off?  I know it is SUPPOSED to be anonymous, but I doubt that is truly the case--even the hospital entrances would be able to pick up on the person coming in with a baby but leaving without one.

 I don't question the "need" for such a facility, but I would question to what extent it would be used.  (Yes, I read there were six drop-offs already.)  In the U.S., it seems that a number of the "garbage bag/dumpster" babies were the result of teens who didn't even know they were pregnant.  The impulse to hide and abandon the baby doesn't provide the necessary planning for using the drop-off.  Plus, there would still be the fear of being discovered if the drop-off were used, so I think we will continue to have the dumpster disasters.

I'm just guessing, but I'd say most--if not all six--of the dumped babies were females.

Aug 31, 2007
by Otacon (not verified)

No Cameras

Such Baby Hatches are not in the view of any security camera. It is important to keep those people anonymous, or else they won't use it.

In Germany, since many hospitals installed baby hatches, the number of death babys in trash cans or left at a toilett at walmart (or whereever) has dropped.

Also they got a system, if the mother comes back in 24 hours, she can have her baby back. She will be watched by the "Jugendamt" (they are the ones who help familys, or take children away from bad parents and stuff), but no law things and stuff (don't know the english word for it.

After 24 hours, she needs to get the baby back over a process and a Judge judges if she gets it back.

 If she doesn't come back, then she doesn't have to worry about anything, its no crime to use that hatch.
Also hospitals without the hatches usually agree to take care of babys and don't ask any Questions like Name or something (except the name of the baby that she maybee gave him).

 Its a good system to save lifes, and because nothing bad can happen to you, and nobody knows who you are, and in the case of the hatches nobody sees you, it is really likely that people use it.

Most Teenager mothers leave theyr babies in front of hospitals (where its cold) so they die. And if they alread thinked that far, then maybee they think far enough to use the hatch.

Aug 31, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

2nd chance

Absolutely right, mothers who leave their babies at Jikei Hospital's baby hatch CAN come back and get them. Of the 6 babies who were left at the hospital since May, one was picked up by her mother. Without the baby hatch, that might not have been possible.

Sep 2, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

You are thinking of China,

You are thinking of China, not Japan.

Sep 4, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

corrosion of humanity

clearly i think that we have no choice..the invention is just right at its time to be invented.

Feb 27, 2008
by Anonymous (not verified)

looking for a unwanted baby

im 36 and mother of 3 boys i had my tubes tide 4 years ago and now i wish i could have a baby but cant so im looking for a baby girl to love and take care of,and i heard of your site,im just wondering if you givebabys up or just keep them ,please email me back

May 3, 2008
by Anonymous

Looking 2 take a unwanted baby.

Im 35 i have 2 girls and cant have any more im looking for a baby boy 5months 2 love and give a loving home 2.

May 8, 2008
by Anonymous

hi there, did you ever get

hi there,
did you ever get any answer to your question because i want a child as will.
email shelley crews@telus.net

May 8, 2008
by Anonymous

wanting a child

im 30 years old and i have two wonderful boys, i can not have anymore children and would love a large family if anyone know about a baby that they want to adopt out please let me know. we have been trying to adopt for about 5 years now but have had ten revokes talk about bad luck or what.
all the best

Jul 16, 2008
by Anonymous

id love another baby 2

i have a 23 year old son and a 14 year old daughter and a 11 year old daughter.
they would love to have a brother or sister to.

Oct 29, 2008
by Anonymous

unwanted babies

it is really very ironical that the people who are in lust of something are kept far off and who are given the gift of nature want to put the same in garbage bin.

where the world would go but i would love to nurture that left away to form the part of my heart.