Germany Baby Boxes

November 25, 2012 - 5:33 AM
This Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 photo shows a view of a baby hatch with a baby sign which is fixed in a wall near the hospital at the district Neukoelln in Berlin. The text on the door reads: Only open in emergency. Graffiti on the wall reads in Polish 'I love you'. Baby boxes are a revival of the medieval "foundling wheels," where unwanted infants were left in revolving church doors. In recent years, there has been an increase in these contraptions — also called hatches, windows or slots in some countries — and at least 11 European nations now have them, according to United Nations figures. They are technically illegal, but mostly operate in a gray zone as authorities turn a blind eye. There are nearly 100 baby boxes in Germany. Poland and the Czech Republic each have more than 40 while Italy, Lithuania, Russia and Slovakia have about 10 each. There are two in Switzerland, one in Belgium and one being planned in the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)