UN Group Seeks Ban on 'Baby Boxes'

But advocates say they save lives

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2012 6:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Mothers across Europe can abandon newborn babies in a so-called "baby box"—incubators located discreetly outside some hospitals. But one UN committee is lobbying to overturn the practice, saying the boxes ultimately hurt children and avoid dealing with the deeper causes of child abandonment, the AP reports. "They are a bad message for society," says Maria Herczog, a psychologist on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child—which is pressing the European Parliament to ban the boxes.

"These boxes violate children's rights and also the rights of parents to get help from the state to raise their families," adds Herczog. Advocates contend that the boxes give struggling mothers a safe and easy solution. "The important thing is that her baby is now in a safe place," says German pastor Gabriele Stangl, who lobbied for the first baby box and believes they protect newborns from infanticide. Yet Germany's infanticide rate remained unchanged after baby boxes arrived, and the country's per capita rate is similar to that of Britain, which has no baby boxes.

Yelena Kotova, head of an NGO, opens the baby box in Kirishi, a town 60 miles east of St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012.
Yelena Kotova, head of an NGO, opens the baby box in Kirishi, a town 60 miles east of St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Galina Murzakayeva, a coordinator for a non-governmental organization, opens the baby box in Kirishi, a town of 50,000 located 60 miles east of St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012.
Galina Murzakayeva, a coordinator for a non-governmental organization, opens the baby box in Kirishi, a town of 50,000 located 60 miles east of St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
11%
6%
18%
52%
2%
10%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!