Russia rolls out boxes for unwanted babies

A newly-installed baby box in Russia’s south has received its first-ever “parcel” – a newborn girl.

The service was introduced for the first time in Russia in early November at several hospitals in the Krasnodar Region.

Such “baby boxes” (also dubbed “cradles of hope”) can be used by mothers who decide to abandon their newborns. No CCTV cameras are installed nearby, so the women are guaranteed anonymity.

Within 15 seconds of a baby being placed in the container, an alarm is triggered. The hospital’s doctors immediately come to fetch the child.

If the baby is healthy, no investigation follows. Once the police ensure the child was not stolen, he or she is officially proclaimed a foundling.

The aim of the project is to give unwanted babies a chance to survive and even find foster parents.

In the months to come, such baby boxes will be installed all across Russia.

The first “baby boxes” appeared in the German city of Hamburg in April 2000. The project was backed by the government after a survey revealed the shocking figures on the number of babies thrown into garbage containers. Since then 25 children have been left in Hamburg’s “baby box” since then.

Currently, such boxes are available in Italy, Hungary, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Austria, Sweden, Slovakia and Japan. Statistics show that the boxes have helped to reduce the number of babies left in garbage containers by 63 per cent.

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