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given up Newborn left in Swiss baby-hatch

The baby boxes are not used often, but the charity behind them believes they are needed (photo taken during demonstration)


A baby has been left in one of Switzerland’s ‘baby boxes‘ at a hospital in Einsiedeln, canton Schwyz.

The baby girl was born on Thursday and left in the cot inside the secure baby box, also known as a baby-window or hatch, the same day, according to the hospital and the child and adult protection authorities (KESB) who confirmed the news on Friday.

The newborn is reported to be healthy, but is still undergoing medical checks.

It’s the 13th time a baby has been left in Einsiedeln’s baby box. Opened in 2001, the so-called box is an out-of-sight window attached to the hospital that a person can lean through, placing a baby in a cot. Once the window is shut, the small room containing the baby is secure, and an alarm is triggered inside the hospital.

The initiative was founded by the Swiss Aid for Mother and Child (SAMC), a foundation that opposes abortion and offers advice and assistance to women and families who find themselves in difficulty due to a pregnancy or the birth of a child. Up until June 2012, the facility in Einsiedeln was the only one in the country, but there are now sixexternal link in total.

The mother of the baby can still contact the child and adult protection authorities or the SAMC foundation. In a press release the two groups stated that they want to assure the mother of “absolute discretion and unbureaucratic assistance in efforts to decide on the best solution for her and the child”.

In cases where a parent leaves a baby, the infant is initially looked after by foster parents and then put up for adoption. The mother or father of the child can reclaim custody up until the adoption process has been completed and will not face legal consequences.

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