The initiative, implemented in the Belgian capital, is run by the organization Corvia. Parents can anonymously leave their babies in the hatch and they are able to reconsider their decision within two months.
The Belgian capital of Brussels announced the installment of its first `baby hatch´, a box where parents can anonymously drop off their babies if they are unable to care for them and the little one will be taken in and cared for by competent organizations.
The news was announced by the NGO Corvia, after an ongoing legal dispute to permit the installment of the baby hatch in the suburb of Evere, which began in 2017. The baby hatch scheme was initially blocked by the local government, but now, after a 3-year legal battle, the Council of State has annulled the former mayor’s decision.
“We are immensely satisfied that we won the case. Each child has a right to a future. I can’t wait to inaugurate the baby hatch, but will await a meeting with the mayor. Parents, who place their child in the hatch anonymously, can reconsider their decision within two months.“, Mathilde Peeters, spokesperson for Corvia, according to news outlet VRT.
Evere, a neighborhood in the northeast of the city, has seen it’s local government change over the last 3 years from a more conservative administration to one that’s more open to these kinds of initiatives, which ultimately aim to prevent babies being abandoned in terrible conditions.
“I always believe babies are better off in a safe environment rather than out on the street or in a trash can. I’ve been in contact with Corvia to ensure they can restart their activities. I want to work together to see how a baby hatch can operate in Evere,” commented Ridouane Chahid, the current mayor.
“Police and the prosecutor’s office need to be informed and notified how a child will be registered in the municipality“, he added.
This will be the second baby hatch approved in the European country. Two decades ago the organization Mothers for Mothers installed a baby hatch in the neighborhood of Amberes, in the north of the country. According to this local media source, during this time a total of 18 babies have been left in the hatch.