Japan's 'Baby Drop'

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Anji
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Anji
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May 18th, 2007 at 02:50pm
I wasn't too sure where to put this. It links to abortion, child abuse, and irresponsible parenting yet it is a very unique topic of it's own.

The following is a report from NBC news:
TOKYO - Japan's first anonymous drop box for unwanted babies triggered a wave of anger and soul searching Wednesday after it was discovered that a preschooler ” and not an infant ” was left by his father on the service's first day.

Newspapers condemned the father and warned that the operation was open to abuse and could traumatize youngsters.

The drop-off for infants, known as "Stork's Cradle," was begun May 10 by the Roman Catholic-run Jikei Hospital in the southern city of Kumamoto to discourage abortions and the abandonment of children in unsafe public places. The same day, a boy now believed to be 3 was found inside.

The boy, who was in good health, reportedly said he was left by his father, who was seen holding the youngster's hand as they approached the hospital. They apparently rode Japan's bullet train to Kumamoto, but it was unclear where they lived.

"I came with Daddy," the boy was quoted as saying by the Mainichi newspaper. Local media reported the boy was able to identify himself by name, but it was unclear whether the father had been identified.

The revelation of the boy's age Tuesday triggered outrage among political leaders, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying that "anonymously throwing out a child is unacceptable." He urged parents to consult social workers for help if raising children gets too tough.

The hospital has refused to comment on the case, citing privacy concerns, but said there were age limits on its drop-off service.

Police have decided no crime was committed because the child was left in a situation in which it was not exposed to immediate harm, Kyodo News reported Wednesday.

Incubator open 24 hours a day
A small hatch in the side of the hospital allows anyone to anonymously put a baby into an incubator 24 hours a day. It was created after a series of high-profile cases in which newborns were abandoned in parks and supermarkets.

"We must rethink the meaning of the baby drop-off," the conservative Sankei newspaper said in an editorial. It called the boy's abandonment "unforgivable," saying that "unlike a baby, a toddler may suffer from trauma."

The Yomiuri newspaper said it was too early to judge the baby drop, but said it must be used for its original purpose of receiving newborns, not young children.


OK, so discuss not only the story, but also the idea of a centre for unwanted babies.
Lucifers Angel
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May 18th, 2007 at 03:07pm
i know that a baby shoot seems like a bad idea to many people and for some imoral, but i agree with the idea that a young mother, or father can go and drop her baby down a shoot and know that the baby will be cared for, its got to be better than leaving the baby on the street to die like was reported a few years ago. people just walked passed this baby girl dead on the street.

it would be ideal if no baby/child was unwanted but sometimes it happens i guess.
rehabreject
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May 19th, 2007 at 09:47am
There are serious pros and cons here.

It might encourage parents, who would have otherwise held onto their child, to ditch it on the state - just an easy way out of responsibilty. Although anything is better than abandoning a baby on a park bench, or having a child grow up unwanted.
If it's annonymous, there's no way to control who gets dropped off - babies or even grown children.

Could there be some sort of programme for parents to leave their children when they just physically cannot support a family? But that would mean explaining everything and proving you're incapable of raising a child....

What would happen to these 'dropped off' babies? Are they property of the government? Can they be adopted into other families?

I don't think I agree with this. Perhaps giving a child up for adoption should be made an easier process, but I don't think people should just be able to drop their 'mistakes' onto others without consequences. What if a baby is dropped off with bruises all over their body? Should the annonymous parents just be allowed get away with it so easily?
Ol' Blue Eyes.
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Mibba
May 19th, 2007 at 11:16am
Don

Whatever happened to putting the child up for adoption? Poor things. I think it's absolutely terrible for them to be dropped into a box as if they were just trash.
PaNcAkEs
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May 21st, 2007 at 02:37am
it sounds interesting, and i agree with Lucifers Angel, its better to have a shoot like that than to just leave the little fellow alone somewhere. But when it comes to dropping off children who can walk and talk and all that, its just wrong, and it can mess with the child's mind. And i think it also puts a fair share of weight on the parent's heart.
Anji
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May 21st, 2007 at 11:43am
Ol' Blue Eyes.:
Don

Whatever happened to putting the child up for adoption? Poor things. I think it's absolutely terrible for them to be dropped into a box as if they were just trash.
That is a problem within itself. Adoption agencies from what I know, tend to select children sometimes, rather than just accept all, openningly and willingly. Also, they aren't as anonymous which is why many have been dumped on streets. I think an incubated box is better than the streets.
Anji
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May 21st, 2007 at 11:46am
rehabreject:
There are serious pros and cons here.

It might encourage parents, who would have otherwise held onto their child, to ditch it on the state - just an easy way out of responsibilty. Although anything is better than abandoning a baby on a park bench, or having a child grow up unwanted.
If it's annonymous, there's no way to control who gets dropped off - babies or even grown children.
That could easily be resolved by having a weight under the box thing. That way, children over a certain limit couldn't get in and children under it could pass. Sorta like the mechanism built into lifts where they freeze if it's over a certain weight limit.
Anji
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May 21st, 2007 at 11:49am
I don't like the use of the word 'shoot'. It's not at all built like some sort of rubbish shoot. It's more like a lift I suppose.
Ol' Blue Eyes.
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Mibba
May 21st, 2007 at 07:13pm
Anji:
Ol' Blue Eyes.:
Don

Whatever happened to putting the child up for adoption? Poor things. I think it's absolutely terrible for them to be dropped into a box as if they were just trash.
That is a problem within itself. Adoption agencies from what I know, tend to select children sometimes, rather than just accept all, openningly and willingly. Also, they aren't as anonymous which is why many have been dumped on streets. I think an incubated box is better than the streets.
Wait, wait, wait.

I was under the impression that this was...well...a box. It's incubated and such? How many kids can fit in it? Does someone come by and take the children somewhere safe? Eh

Sorry to ask, but you seem to have all the answers.
Lucifers Angel
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May 22nd, 2007 at 09:49am
i found this if its any help to anyone:

TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- A Japanese hospital opened the country's only anonymous drop box for unwanted infants Thursday despite government admonitions against abandoning babies.

The baby drop-off, called "Crane's Cradle," was opened by the Catholic-run Jikei Hospital in the southern city of Kumamoto as a way to discourage abortions and the abandonment of infants in unsafe public places. The hospital described it as a parent's last resort.

A small hatch on the side of the hospital allows people to drop off babies in an incubator 24 hours a day, while an alarm will notify hospital staff of the new arrival. The infants will initially be cared for by the hospital and then put up for adoption.

"We started the service but hope it won't be used," head nurse Yukiko Tajiri said. "I hope it is seen as a symbol that we are always here for parents to share their difficulty."

But government officials warned the service might only encourage more abandonments.

"In principle, parents should not abandon their babies anonymously," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Thursday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki meanwhile said it was "fundamental for parents to raise their children with their own hands."

Similar baby drops exist in Germany and South Africa. Some U.S. states, such as Alabama and Minnesota, also have programs protecting identities of women who give up their babies.

The drop box was set up after a series of high-profile cases in which newborn babies were abandoned in parks and supermarkets, triggering a public outcry.

Abortion is readily available and widespread in Japan where restriction against the measure is loose and there are no clear religious taboos.

Nearly 290,000 abortions were reported in 2005, according to the Health Ministry.
Misanthropist
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May 22nd, 2007 at 10:18am
I'm not sure. i think it's kind of a good idea. i mean, having a sort of...incubated place to drop the children seems better than abandoning the newborn/toddler to die, right? Of course, adoption would seem to be the obvious answer for unwanted children, but I can understand that some people just want to get rid of the kid fast and this gives them a place to drop them off.
It's a difficult thing to judge, I'll have to read more on it and get back to this discussion
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