Archive for May, 2007

Baby Drop Box

Living for a short time in this country can teach you so many things. Although I believe in the theory of “It’s not about what they teach you, it’s about what you learn”. Have I told you that Japan does things differently? Yep, this fact will cause a rush of different ideas every single day, every single time you see new things here. You’ll come out from your shell and start thinking how do they do this and that, is it applicable in other space and time, is it really a good thing?

One of these ideas from Japan is the baby drop box. (nodding with eyes widely opened).. you may drop your baby in this box.

Abortion is legal here and unfortunately people are making use of this opportunity. There were around 300,000 abortions in 2005. Cases of abandoned babies are also often heard. Babies in the parks, babies at the side of the streets, at the supermarkets.

You can not judge, really.

You are not in their shoes and do not know what is going on in their lives. And in a way, giving up your baby to someone else is an act of love.

The most unbelievable case is when I heard about a mother locked her two toddlers in the house for a month, with the hope that they would die starving because she could not take care of them anymore. And one of the toddlers did die.

Compared to that (!!), I find the parents who left the babies out in the open (at least someone eventually finds the abandoned baby) are far more responsible.

I am sure the Jikei Catholic Hospital had the same opinion when they installed this baby drop box. Rather than leaving the baby you-think-you-can-not-take-care-anymore out in the cold, you may anonymously drop your baby by this box (an incubator) and an alarm will notify the hospital staff that a baby has arrived. So immediate care can be carried out.

The hospital described it as the parents’ last resort. The hospital started the baby drop box service but hoped that it would never be used, hoping the service to be seen as a symbol that they are there for the parents to share their difficulties (CNN Asia, May 2006)

TIME magazine was right, certainly ever since the service was out in the news, Japanese did some soul searching. Contemplating whether or not they want to drop their babies there. Now they have an option.

My appraisals to those who are in stress yet decided to try their best.

Shamefully, a father dropped a 3 years old child there. (Other drops are not reported in the news, they are suppose to be confidential).Yet, Japan was shocked. Experts condemned this act since dropping a toddler may cause trauma later on in his life.

Probably Japan is rethinking this baby drop box idea.

But I strongly support it. Surely it might cause some negative effects, but then again, what isn’t? Isn’t any idea that risen from good thoughts will end up good?




p.s. rather than supporting random act of kindness, better support the organized act of kindness.


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