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Mailboxes Have Been Installed In Belgium For Parents To Leave Babies They Don't Want

Mailboxes Have Been Installed In Belgium For Parents To Leave Babies They Don't Want

The mailbox system was recently adopted by Brussels, Belgium, but not everyone was for this idea.

Images Source: Getty Images/Steve Glass (Representative)

Bringing a child into this world is a huge responsibility and when a woman becomes pregnant there are thousands of thoughts that run through her mind. Not everyone is ready to welcome a baby, care for it, or even afford the expenses that come with it. With abortion being banned in many places, women are left to take drastic measures that either hurt them both or just the baby. While many tragically dump their babies in the trash or leave them in severe conditions, many countries have adopted a mailbox system to avoid such unfortunate events because at the end of the day what matters is the well being of the mother and baby. 



 

According to Euroweeklynews, Belgium became the latest country to adopt this method where new moms are allowed to leave their babies if they think they won't be able to care for the infant in the best possible way. The process is apparently safe and discreet, as it allows women to leave their children anonymously. This is to prevent people from leaving helpless babies on the streets or bushes where they cannot even fend for themselves. Several countries including China, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea have adopted this system and in the U.S. Indiana, Ohio and Arizona have installed these baby boxes since 2016. 



 

Now, Brussels, Belgium is the latest city to join the baby box system in the world, per Euroweeklynews. Apparently, not everyone sees these baby boxes as a good idea, and the former mayor of Brussels, Pierre Muylle, is just one of them. Muylle completely against this proposal and felt that this initiative could backfire and encourage mothers to abandon their babies. It was after a three years battle that the NGO Corvia obtained the license for installing these boxes as they were convinced that this was an effective way to stop babies from being abandoned in places where they might not survive. 

Now, mothers or people can anonymously place babies in the box without the fear of being criminally prosecuted. Although the box looks like a regular mailbox, it has a crib inside it which has regulators and sensors which helps maintain an ideal temperature. There's also an envelope present in the crib where the mother can place a unique item that could allow her to identify herself later if she wanted to. As soon as the door is closed after the baby is placed inside the crib, it cannot be opened thus keeping the baby safe inside.



 

Soon a silent alarm is activated which immediately alerts authorities and medics who arrive within five minutes. According to BBC, the concept of these baby boxes are very ancient and dates back to medieval times when they were known as foundling wheels. These were cylindrical barrels kept outside orphanages, hospitals, and churches and over the course of 20 years, they have undergone some "small-scale revival" and adopted in many countries. Residents in the U.S. had to wait until 2016 to have these baby boxes installed in the U.S. after Mónica Kelsey founded the organization Safe Haven Baby Boxes.



 

Kelsey, who had been abandoned as a child, aimed at "saving abandoned babies" through her organization. "Baby Boxes will be placed in Safe Haven locations and will allow a woman to surrender her unwanted newborn under the Safe Haven Law by placing her newborn in an electronically monitored Safe Haven Baby Box (…) These women are telling us that they want complete anonymity and Safe Haven Baby Boxes will ensure that this happens," reads the organization's Facebook website. However, it remains illegal to abandon a baby in the country, but under the Safe Haven law, a person can give up their child if they put them in safe hands during the "first days of his/her life." It was first passed by Texas and other states followed suit. "With around 100 babies being abandoned every year and some of these babies being dropped off at the doors of fire stations and hospitals we have to extend the Safe Haven Law," claim Safe Haven Baby Boxes. 

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