The BBC on a burgeoning recession-era parenting technique — towns provide a box in which struggling parents may stick babies they are incapable of caring for:
Boxes where parents can leave an unwanted baby, common in medieval Europe, have been making a comeback over the last 10 years. Supporters say a heated box, monitored by nurses, is better for babies than abandonment on the street – but the UN says it violates the rights of the child.
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 whom to call if you change your mind.
Critics say that baby boxes are a throwback to the past when the medieval church had what were called “foundling wheels” – round windows through which unwanted babies could be passed.
Pychologist Kevin Browne of Nottingham University told the BBC: “Studies in Hungary show that it’s not necessarily mothers who place babies in these boxes – that it’s relatives, pimps, step-fathers, fathers. Therefore, the big question is: are these baby boxes upholding women’s rights, and has the mother of that child consented to the baby being placed in the baby box?”