Statistics show that Safe Haven baby hatches in the United States have saved 3,227 lives in 2016 since the year 2000 (Kelsey, 2016, para. 2). Baby hatches are safe vessels where mothers can anonymously abandon their newborn baby. These devices were introduced in the United States in a warm hearted manner, they were created with the purpose of reducing the rate of unsafe child abandonments. Although baby hatches are heavily criticized for neglecting the fulfillment of parents’ basic obligations, proponents pose the argument that they aid mothers in crisis and save lives.
Baby hatches are needed in society for their purpose of saving innocent lives. This paper will highlight the purpose of baby hatches in society, it will outline both opposing and concurring views, allowing the reader to create their own bias about baby hatches. DEFINITION & DESCRIPTION By definition, a baby box is a safe device where mothers surrender their baby with complete anonymity (Silva, 2016, para. 1). Baby hatches resemble a black box, they are stainless steel and shadow the appearance of a conventional microwave oven.
On the outside, baby hatches have a latch that can be pulled upward to open, they also include a phone number painted on the outside just in case a mother wants to retrogress her decision. In the inside, these devices are highly equipped with three alarms to get the attention of first responders. Baby hatches are placed on the outside walls of police stations, fire departments and in hospitals (Silva, 2016, para. 6). Their functions are to safely shelter an infant for about 3-5 minutes until first responders arrive.
Furthermore, the anonymous use of baby hatches has come into question, as many have come to a consensus that baby hatches promote irresponsibility amongst biological parents. Opponents believe that the widespread of these devices has created a new demand that never before existed. Asai and Hiroko (2013) state that, “.. If baby hatches do not exist, parents will try more desperately to raise the child, even in cases of poverty, they will seek assistance …. In situations where raising a child seems impossible” (p. ).
In other words, prior to the existence of baby hatches, desperate women had one less option to consider, there was a greater feel for the obligations a mother had to their baby. The previous quote uses the example of a woman in poverty, it states that the necessity for financial stability would cause her to perhaps work more hours to afford her new expenses. Another argument upheld is that the anonymity of baby hatches violates a child’s right to know the identity of their biological parents.
The United Nations (UN) convention in 1989 states in article 7 that a “child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to name, the right to acquire nationality and, as far to know and be cared by their biological parents”(Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1995, p. 2). In other words, children are entitled to their identity, and baby hatches allow parents to drop off a baby with no questions asked. The ease of this process is also challenged, is it legal to allow the anonymous abandonment of children?
Many agree that large gray areas exist when it comes to the legal and moral barriers of baby hatches. BABY HATCHES AID MOTHERS One must be able to understand the relief that baby hatches provide for mothers. With the complete anonymity of baby hatches, women who feel the need to use these devices feel at ease. Safe Haven preventive consultations are proven to help convince mother to keep their baby rather than using the Safe Haven baby hatches. Services Offered by Safe Haven laws Baby hatches should only be used as a last resort.
Consultations with specialists encourage women to work harder to keep their babies. The success of this is well rated as statistics show that women who use these services keep their baby instead of giving them up. Proponents of baby hatches have the realistic perspective that baby abandonment exists, and babies are dying as a result. Presently, in the United States, Safe Haven Laws have been created as a last resort for women in crisis. These nationwide laws advocate “No shame. No blame. No names,” protecting the privacy and identity of women who use the services of the Safe Haven Laws (Kelsey, 2016, para. ). Baby hatches are supposed to relieve a mother’s desperatic desperation when left with an unwanted baby. Without the shame of a face to face encounter, women are able to feel at ease. According to Monica Kelsey (2016), founder of safe haven baby boxes “These women love their children and want what’s best for the child but they do not want their faces seen. ”
Safe Haven Laws aid vulnerable women, targeting those in need such as mothers who are mentally and economically desperate. Kelsey (2016) also states that “baby boxes are very successful in 3rd world countries” (para. ). In other words, poverty in third world countries plays a major role in lifestyle, women who are in poverty would rather surrender their infant than to give them a life of misery and continue the poverty cycle. These women are incapable of taking care of their children, they go through their entire pregnancy hopeful for their baby but, later they realize they are not ready/able to care for a child. This is not something women plan from the very start, baby hatches come into play during these types of hopeless situations where a woman is in desperate need of relief.
Another service provided through the Safe Haven Law is their 24 hour hotline available seven days a week. This supplies women with preventive consultations and a support system they may need before making a decision. In countries such as Germany, consultations have been shown to make a difference (Asai & Hiroko, 2013, p. 4). Women who undergo a series of consultations end up keeping their baby instead of abandoning them. Proponents of baby hatches uphold the idea that mothers who use baby hatches drop their babies off with good intentions, meaning, that their option would be in the best interest of both a other and her baby.
BABY HATCHES SAVE LIVES Baby hatches are completely safe and are accepted in society. Through serving their purpose, they have saved thousands of lives. Baby Hatches Give Children The Right To Life. Baby hatches serve their purpose in society by saving innocent lives. They do not encourage baby abandonment, and they provide shelter and care for children. Baby hatches are safe devices made to reduce unsafe child abandonment, their use is acceptable if initiated with good intentions. A baby hatch itself has human contact for about 3-5 minutes, baby hatches are made to be ideal for those few minutes.
Moreover, baby hatches have a scale that is double lined with padding and is temperature controlled to satisfy temperature change (Parco, 2016, para. 2). These devices are highly equipped with three alarms to get the attention of first responders. The first alarm goes off when a mother opens the baby hatch, the second alarm is activated when the scale senses the weight of the baby inside of the hatch. Finally, the third alarm is activated when a mother leaves, there is a button on the inside that is touched upon departure (Silva, 2016, para. 6).
Baby hatch proponents agree that it is acceptable for mothers who use the services provided by Safe Haven laws. Baby hatches allow women to abandon their babies and be assured that the child will survive, it is acceptable if it is initiated with good intentions. As for saving lives, statistics show that safe haven baby boxes alone have saved 3,227 infants in 2016 since the year 2000 when the laws were initiated (Kelsey, 2016, para. 3). Safe Haven baby hatches are located in fire stations, police stations and in hospitals, they are for use during desperate times, these devices are safe and most importantly, they save an innocent life.
According to Monica Kelsey (founder of baby atches in the U. S), “In one situation a newborn baby boy was placed at the entrance of a hospital in a cardboard box and when the child was finally found, the child has frozen to death and was deceased” (2016). In this situation, perhaps a mother in crisis was in a desperate situation so she left her baby at a hospital door, hoping for the survival of that baby. These devices are extremely important, baby hatches serve their purpose by saving lives, these laws are crystal clear and are completely safe.
With the previous statements, baby hatches serve their purpose by saving lives, these laws are crystal clear and are completely safe. CONCLUSION Baby hatches are safe vessels where mothers can secretly abandon their newborns. These devices that are heavily criticized for their existence, opponents believe baby hatches encourage irresponsible parents. However, could this behavior truly be encouraged? Proponents believe baby hatches are a last resort; this is not an option that is planned ahead, would a mother undergo all the pain and stress during a nine month pregnancy to abandon their baby? Proponents argue hat baby abandonment is not curable, baby hatches are a safe alternative that ultimately save lives.
The process of using a baby hatch is used to maintain complete anonymity, no questions are asked and it avoids the face to face interaction (Parco, 2016, para 3). It allows a mother complete privacy because of the private locations, and it ensures the child’s safety and their right to life. Furthermore, with both arguments being examined, the truth that we can uphold is that baby hatches are in existence present day, as a whole, society has decided that we need baby hatches in both the mother and the baby’s best interest.