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Hospital in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward announces plan for ‘baby hatch’

15 Comments

A hospital in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward plans to set up a “baby hatch” for parents to anonymously leave newborn infants in the care of social welfare agencies.

Preparations are underway for the baby hatch to be installed at San-ikukai Hospital in 2024, Kyodo News reported. It will be the second baby hatch to be set up in Japan. The first one, “Konotori no Yurikago” (stork’s cradle), was opened by Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto City in 2007. Since then, 170 abandoned infants have been placed in its care.

San-ikukai Hospital is operated by a social welfare corporation which runs 16 medical facilities in the Kanto region.

The baby hatch in Tokyo will accept infants up to four months old and there will be a 24-hour monitoring system. The hospital said it plans to implement projects, including “confidential childbirth” that allows pregnant women to only reveal their names and contact information to medical staff.

The need for a baby hatch in Tokyo has been growing for several years in response to an increase in unwanted pregnancies from women suffering from poverty or abuse, as well as cases of abandoned babies.

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15 Comments
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“confidential childbirth” that allows pregnant women to only reveal their names and contact information to medical staff.

Only name and contact information... What's confidential in this?

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Only name and contact information... What's confidential in this?

Japan's way of "confidentiality"

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

The other baby hatch is in a far less habituated area. It has received around 300 babies since it started. Hopefully, this hatch will contribute to less babies being found in dumpsters, train lockers and mummified in show boxes in wardrobes.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

The hospital said it plans to implement projects, including “confidential childbirth” that allows pregnant women to only reveal their names and contact information to medical staff

I don't think the hospital quite understands the meaning of the word "confidential". Or anonymous for that matter.

Also, the fact that it has taken 16 years to provide a second baby hatch in all of Japan is absurd. There should be such a service in every city and every ward.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Good idea

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Thank god for this. But 16 years after the first one in Kumamoto? That's pretty darn slow.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

This is backward if I may say,

How about helping these struggling parents keep their child and provide the help they need to make it!! instead of raising taxes and squeezing every yen out of their salaries.

People would love to keep and raise their kids if they could afford it.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@Mark There are many parents in Japan struggling that have children and they keep them even though taxes are raised and they are squeezed. Its more than just blaming the gov on taxes. As the article suggested some women have unwanted pregnancies due to being assaulted and yes suffering from poverty as you said, and including abuse, some are just not mentally prepared and abandon their babies.

This is backward if I may say,

How about helping these struggling parents keep their child and provide the help they need to make it!! instead of raising taxes and squeezing every yen out of their salaries.

People would love to keep and raise their kids if they could afford it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What a great way to encourage people to seek out the help they need

[ Since then, 170 abandoned infants have been placed in its care ]

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

For the life of me I cannot understand why there is so much opposition to this idea. The reason this is only the second one in Japan is that every time someone suggests doing this there is such an outcry against it. But why, I really don't know. The thing I think that is really unfortunate is that adoption is not a popular concept in Japan. Sure they will adopt a blood relative for tax and inheritance purposes, but adopting a child born of another is quite rare, so these children will mostly be raised in institutions and not with a loving family.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I remember the early years of the Kumamoto baby hatch. It was such a good idea, and seemed to be highly publicized. I am dismayed that it has taken so long for the most populus metropolitian area in the world to try this idea. I hope that many more hospitals open themselves to similar "hatches" As a three times adoptive parent I am grateful for those women who, for whatever reason, provided us the opportunity to have children when we could not have them in the natural way.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is a good step in the right direction. Now Japanese laws need to change to allow prospective parents from outside of Japan the ability to adopt infants born in Japan. I have friends who have adopted children here and they must be residents of Japan with plans to remain in Japan, raising the child here. One friend, a single lady, had to move out of Tokyo proper into Saitama in order to be allowed to adopt her child. I work with kids in orphanages, teaching English through JOEE.jp. Most of these children will spend their entire young lives growing up in an institution. Most are not "adoptable" because of unfit parents who will not allow it, even though they cannot care for their children themselves. God bless @Roten and others who do adopt children here!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Terrible

How about encourage using protection.

This encourages reckless behavior

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Thank the gods! I am so tired of reading about coin-locker babies or those left in toilet bowls, parking lots, or what have you. Many people who can't have a child want one, so make more baby hatches, let people know they are available (but encourage other options first), and most of all, MAKE THEM ANONYMOUS! Don't have cameras pointing at the mother so police and social welfare can take the baby back to her and try to convince her to keep it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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