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First modern era baby hatch to open in Dordrecht

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Planned for this year Dordrecht will have the very first modern day baby hatch where unwanted babies can be safely left for them to become foundlings. Modern day because it has been a practice since the Middle Ages and, depending on one’s beliefs, there’s also the Bible telling us about Moses who was adopted as a foundling by the Egyptian royal family.

The Netherlands currently does not have a place for mothers who do not want to keep their children, and the baby hatch in Dordrecht plans to fill that void. Since Belgium allowed baby hatches in 2000, three babies have been ‘dropped off’. During the same time span some 278 babies in Germany have been ‘deposited’. At the moment, Dutch law forbids abandoning babies for them to be adopted as foundlings.

On the one hand, more help could be given to these women for them to keep their infants, on the other hand, sometimes it is the father, step-father, other family members or even pimps that give away the baby for them. There must be a plethora of reasons why someone would give up a child, but considering the process is anonymous, actually finding out what those are is difficult, making way for much speculation and easily blaming the mothers for everything.

Although the UN claims opening baby hatches goes against the rights of children, even the Vatican has a baby hatch or ‘baby box’ as they are sometimes called.

(Links: www.trouw.nl, www.bbc.co.uk, Illustration by Leonardo da Vinci)

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