“It’s a girl. I wanted to raise him, so I prepared clothes for him, but from the 5th month of pregnancy, the baby's father lost contact with him, and he even visited his parents, but he said he didn't know. She tried to raise her by herself, but it was difficult to pay the baby's hospital bills right away, so she made this choice. Please help me so that I can find good parents and be happy.”
The letter was written by a woman who left her child at the Baby Box, a temporary shelter for infants in Sillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul. The Baby Box, which has been operated by the Jusarang Community since 2009, is a place where children in crisis left by people who cannot afford to raise them stay for a while. Since 2014, Saeganaan Church in Gunpo-si, Gyeonggi-do has also been operating a baby box.
According to the Jusarang Community on the 20th, a total of 1956 children entered Seoul Baby Box from 2009 to February. In the past year alone, 113 lives have been entrusted to it. As of last year, 74.3% of those who left their children were unmarried, and 11.5% were married (adoptive parents or divorced).
According to the Child Welfare Act, children subject to protection, including those abandoned in the baby box, must “grow up in an environment similar to that of the home when they cannot grow up in the home where they were born.” This means that when protecting children subject to protection, it is necessary to consider adoption or foster care rather than childcare facilities (nursery centers).
Baby box children are transferred to a temporary shelter run by the city of Seoul, where they stay for 3 to 6 months, and undergo the adoption process. In fact, from 2015 to February this year, 74.6% (995 children) of 1,333 children abandoned at baby boxes in Seoul were sent to facilities. Adopted children accounted for only 10.7% (143 children). The remaining 14.6% (195 persons) returned to their birth parents through counseling.
In response, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul, and Gwanak-gu have recently prepared guidelines to address the situation in which a child who was left in a baby box and could not even register a birth was transferred directly to a facility. An official from Seoul said, "In order for the baby box children to receive home-style protection, first, they were temporarily protected in a child care facility, so that the head of the facility could quickly go through the adoption process as a guardian."
Baby boxes are needed to save the lives of babies. Because there are parents who are reluctant to reveal their identity even if there is a situation where there are practically insufficient facilities to leave the baby, this can be directly related to the life of the baby. am. Also, since the method of registering a baby with an adoption agency has become more complicated after the adoption of the Special Act on Adoption, the baby box is a necessary facility to save a life at this point in time when the number of abandoned babies has increased.
2. the opposite
In the position of not creating an environment where babies can be thrown away, the baby box promotes abandonment of infants.
3. Our thoughts
We think that the idea of promoting infant abandonment is a fragmentary fact. “A baby should be raised by the mother,”. Therefore, We think that for a mother who has no choice but to abandon her baby in an unavoidable situation, it is necessary to create an environment in which her mother and child can grow together without any economic impact for about three years.
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