Unplanned pregnancies occur all the time and some women are not prepared to be mothers. I found out about the baby hatch system not that long ago. It consists of a dropping place where you put your child safely and give up your rights as a mother. The one that exists in the city that I live in consists of a sort of door in the wall, which one is opened reveals a cradle and contains information for the mother to know what will happen to her baby. Once the hatch is open a silent alarm will go off and alert the worker, which will arrive at the scene in 15 minutes. Additionally, she has a six-month period to reconsider before her baby is put in adoption, but this last part varies from country to country.
In Germany, it is placed in the hospital and the government will look after the baby for 2 months and after place it for adoption. The whole idea is for women to do it anonymously. The mother is not sought afterwards and the baby is kept warm, and fed. There are 45 baby hatches in Poland, 44 in Czech Republic, 26 in Hungary, 16 in Slovakia, 8 in Lithuania and Italy and 1 in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Vatican, Canada, Malaysia, China, and Japan.
For me, it was quite shocking when I first heard about this system. But I understand life can get tough. An unplanned pregnancy in an unstable household environment can certainly push any woman to look for other alternatives. I recently read in the Guatemalan news how a baby was found in an abandoned field being attacked by ants. This is not the first time I read something like this. I can recall numerous news around the world with heartbreaking stories about newborns being left in the strangest places.
Clearly, these countries have not looked the other way and have come to create a safer system for giving up your child without risking their health. Of course, it is a very controversial solution, yet I do have to recognize that is, one that avoids the baby physically suffering when being abandoned. And it is an extra measure for women who cannot assume the responsibility of raising a child. Germany states that on average every hatch is used twice a year. In Belgium, only one exists, and it has been used three times in the last 10 years. Czech Republic and Lithuania both have an average of seven infants left in baby hatches per year, followed by Poland with six and Hungary and Slovakia with four.
Sometimes, you are faced with difficult and complicated decisions in your life, but there are always options and the baby hatch is a complex solution, to say the least. However, the fact is it saves the lives of these unwanted babies. By no means, I am encouraging this, I just believe is worthwhile spreading the word on all the possibilities when dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. Becoming and deciding to be a mother is a personal decision and instead of having governments ignoring this issue, coming up with unorthodox methods of dealing with it should definitely be revisited.