Belgium: a "baby box" is questioning the support to pregnant women and young mothers



At the end of the month, a "baby box" will be installed in the Brussels region at the initiative of the ASBL Corvia association, which helps the homeless. Mothers who see no other solution "can anonymously leave their babies at this centre". Although the facility is ready, protocols still have to be signed off by the police. These protocols describe the procedure to be followed if a child is found in "the drawer": the child must be examined by a doctor and the police must be informed. The child will then be taken to an orphanage or, if he/she is sick, to a hospital.

 

This is the second facility of its kind in Belgium. In Anvers, the "baby box", which was set up in 2009, has taken in nine children.

 

This system is not met with universal consensus. Critics believe that this is an "unethical process", which "accentuates the fact that, in Belgium, there is no way of giving birth with discretion. I said discretion, which is different from under X, i.e. without being named on the child's birth certificate. The child then has the option, at 18 years of age, to trace his/her origins. This is incredibly important in terms of cementing personal foundations", explained Bernard de Vos, General Manager of the French Community for the Rights of Children. He also revealed that "men often leave children in these baby boxes (…). This begs the question as to whether the mother has consented to actually give up her child".. He is calling for work to be done on "supporting pregnancy and maternity".


Sources: 

La libre (12/01/2017); rtbf, Barbara Boulet (13/01/2017)