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
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)

(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.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Nov 28, 2012 12:34 PM CST
Sometimes all the state help in the world won't help a mother become a parent especially if she doesn't have a partner to support her and the child emotionally and will be there for the long haul. Keep the baby boxes as they are much better than what happens here in the United States. How many babies have ended up in dumpsters? Thank goodness we have some cities that allow babies to be dropped off at the hospitals and fire stations with no questions asked.
Nov 28, 2012 5:04 AM CST
Really, baby boxes with heat and clean bedding and all? And they want to get rid of them in favor of what,garbage bags ,cardboard boxes?
Nov 27, 2012 9:06 PM CST
Hey maybe they can arrest deadbeat mothers and throw them in jail. You know kinda like with fathers who don't want to pay child support.