The 'baby box' returns to Europe
Boxes where parents can leave an unwanted baby, common in medieval Europe, have been making a comeback over the last 10 years, BBC News reported Monday. Supporters say a heated box, monitored by nurses, is better for babies than abandonment on the street -- but the U.N. says it violates the rights of the child.
It is an unlikely scene for the most painful of dramas. On the edge of a road in a leafy suburb of Berlin, there is a sign pointing through the trees down a path. It says "Babywiege" -- Baby Cradle.
At the end of that path, there is a stainless steel hatch with a handle. Pull that hatch open, and there are neatly folded blankets for a baby. The warmth is safe and reassuring. There is a letter, too, telling you who to call if you change your mind.
About twice a year, someone -- presumably a woman -- treads that path at the secluded rear of Waldfriede Hospital and leaves the baby, perhaps born in secret only a few hours earlier.
That person -- presumably the mother -- then turns and walks away, never to see the baby again. The baby grows, but never gets to know who his or her mother was.
The word "presumably" is used because the process is secret and anonymous, so nobody knows who the people are who make that walk, carrying a baby to reverse their steps without one, according to BBC News.