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.© Japan Today