By Dave Andrusko
A sad story, on multiple levels, coming out of China. The Daily Mail’s Suzanna Hills reports today that what is called a baby flap or postbox—a refuge where “unwanted” babies can be left anonymously—is being closed in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province which is Southern China. Why?
According to Hills because they are being overwhelmed—262 babies were left in the first 90 days—according to Xu Jiu, 47, director of the Guangzhou Welfare Center. Almost all the babies are sick or have disabilities–cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and congenital heart disease, Hills reports.
There are 25 similar projects that have opened up in 10 other Chinese provinces but none have been “massively oversubscribed” like Guangzhou City.
“The project in Inner Mongolia only received four abandoned babies 10 months after its establishment and Shijiazhuang received 180 babies in two and a half years after its establishment,” Xu Jiu said.
There are two hopefully notes. Hills does write, “[T]e Guangdong ‘baby flap’ project has now been forced to temporarily close,” as opposed to permanently shutter its doors.
“We have learned a lot from this even if we stop it now, it shows us that we need to offer better child welfare systems and in particular the assistance and support for families with severely disabled children,” Xu Jiu added.”There also need to be improvements to the relevant rules and promotion of the way that we protect children.”
There was one option he mentioned that doesn’t “protect” children who are prenatally discovered to be less than perfect.
‘It’s also important,” Xu Jiu told Hills, “to encourage information about the options available including options before birth if problems are identified.”
“Under China’s One Child Policy, babies with serious illnesses or disabilities are often abandoned,” Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers told NRL News Today. “Providing baby ‘post-boxes’ does save lives. At the same time, the real culprit is the coercive low birth limit. People would be more likely to keep these babies, as opposed to abandoning them, if they did not have a coercive limit on the number of children they can have.”