Why mothers leave their child behind in a "baby box"

Joe-Lize Kruijsse-Brugge

The baby hatches provide a space where women can abandon their child anonymously and safely. For example, women who are desperate after rape, or because of honour crimes or homelessness, sometimes do not know what to do with their child. They fear for their safety and, therefore, do not want anyone to know that they gave birth to a baby. The hatch provides them with an opportunity to leave their child safely without giving out their identity.

The idea of a baby hatch already dates from the Middle Ages where some churches had a "foundling wheel" where women could abandon their child in the church.

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