Baden-Württemberg: way out in need: baby hatches in the state are used

For pregnant women it is often the last resort: going to the baby hatch.

Baden-Württemberg: way out in need: baby hatches in the state are used

For pregnant women it is often the last resort: going to the baby hatch. If you don't want to keep your newborn baby, you can hand it in anonymously. Again and again, boys and girls end up in the care of the youth welfare office.

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - The baby flaps in Baden-Württemberg are almost all used. On average, one to two babies are brought to the facilities every year, according to a survey by the German Press Agency. Newborns are often handed in anonymously, especially in big cities. There are baby hatches or baskets in the south-west, for example in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Pforzheim, Villingen-Schwenningen, Friedrichshafen, Singen and Lörrach. They are intended to help mothers and fathers in need.

Since the introduction of the baby hatch around 20 years ago, most newborns have been handed over to the Weraheim, a mother-child home in Stuttgart - 46 boys and girls in total. A few babies are also picked up by their mothers again, as a spokeswoman said. The majority, however, are put up for adoption or placed with a foster family. One child was given up this year, in 2021 it was two.

The first baby hatch in Baden-Württemberg was launched in 2001 by the Diakonisches Werk in Karlsruhe together with the Hardt Foundation. According to a spokeswoman, 27 children have been handed over since then. There was no handover last year and one this year. "It rarely happens that after the handover of a baby, the mother reports," said the spokeswoman.

In Karlsruhe, the newborn is placed in a warm bed, which triggers an alarm. The mother can also make a footprint of the child and take it with her. "When a child is handed over to us, one of our volunteers first receives it and provides first aid," said the spokeswoman. It will then be taken to the children's hospital, examined there and admitted to the hospital.

At the same time, the youth welfare office was informed of the handover so that the child could be taken into care and an official guardian appointed, according to the social worker. "This ends our responsibility for the child, all further steps are the responsibility of the youth welfare office."

After the stay in the hospital, babies usually go to a stand-by foster family for a few weeks to give the mother who is giving them time to get in touch. "If no one has reported during this time, the child will be placed in foster care with the family that intends to adopt the child," the clinics said. Adoption usually becomes final around the child's first birthday.

In Germany, an association gives recommendations for minimum standards for baby hatches. The first offer of this kind was in Hamburg. The facilities are not without controversy. Critics fear that baby hatches create a need and make it easier for women to part with their unwanted children. The German Ethics Council had also spoken out against such flaps because every child has the right to know who it is descended from.