Child Abandonment in Europe


As the European debt crisis continues unabated, one consequence is something no one really likes to talk about;  child abandonment.  More and more frequently, distraught, debt-ridden parents are dropping off infants in "baby hatches" all across the European continent.  The baby hatches are sensor sensitive.  Meaning, a baby placed in one of these boxes sets off an alarm.  A care assistant comes out to retrieve the baby when the alarm indicates there is something in the box.  There are countries where "baby hatches" are illegal.  In those countries the baby is left in a hospital, church or some medical clinic.  In just the past year, there have been 750 in Italy and 1200 children in heavily indebted Greece.  That is an appalling number. These economic orphans are increasing in number as the debt crisis in Europe continues with austerity measures that are helping the debt problem, but hurting families financially.  I am very surprised by the 750 number in Italy.  I lived in Italy for over three years.  I now how much the Italians love and value their children.  The families financial situation must be overwhelming. 

There was nothing mentioned in the article about child abandonment in the USA.  I suspect there is a large number of children abandoned, in the USA, due to the economic hardships of the past four or five years.  But, I could not find anything on this concerning America.  I had my own personal experience with child abandonment right after I got out of the U.S. Navy in 1974.  I had gone riding on my motorcycle (1972 Triumph 650 Bonneville) one Saturday morning.  I was slowing down to a 4-way stop when a woman on an adjacent street ran a stop sign and I broadsided her.  Next thing I remember, I was in the emergency room.  I was there about six hours before they let me go.  As I sat in a wheelchair in the emergency room lobby, listening to my mother talk about the dangers of motorcycles, a young woman came in with an infant wrapped in an old blue blanket. She came directly to me and my mother.  She pushed the crying baby into my mother's arms and left in a waiting VW van.  A nurse came, took the baby from my mothers arms and told us this happens about twice a day in the hospital.  At the time, I thought how sad that was.  How could a mother do such a  thing?  But, in retrospect, at least the mother cared enough to get the baby proper care.  I think the same can be said about all the European families who, even though not taking the proper care to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, at least did the right thing with the baby by taking it to a place of caring. 


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