How would you feel if, within your street, town, neighborhood, city, or even country, a baby hatch service was introduced whereby babies could be deposited by parents who felt that they could not look after their child
Scared, alarmed, disgusted, relieved that at least the babies weren’t being summarily killed or abandoned; a mixture of all of these quite possibly, yet, as you may have seen on the news recently, this is what, in china, is being done
In essence the parents who feel they cannot properly care for their baby are able to leave their in an increasing number of Baby Hatches around China. This is in a country where 1000,000 babies are abandoned every year, for a variety of reasons, and organisers of this scheme report that most of the babies are either ill or handicapped, and that by providing this service in a clean, controlled, and constantly monitored environment, the survival rate of such babies is significantly improved
The question I am raising in this post is whether it is the start of a caring, humanitarian new world, or potentially, under certain circumstances. a long look backward at a genetic selection and attempted breeding which for centuries we have, merciful, tended to abhor, i.e the world of eugenics
I’ll be quite honest here and say that I have no definite answer, and I’m not even sure whether there is one, but what if we look at the question from opposing points of view
First of all the positive side
- Babies who would otherwise be abandoned are being cared for
- The hatches are suitably furnished, and a monitoring system is in place to ensure a maximum of a ten minute pick up time
- Such babies can receive prompt medial treatment and down the line careful fostering
- Many parents try to help the child as much as they can by leaving notes, cash, medication, and/or medical records
- In a society where rates of abandonment are so high, and where one in three abandoned babies would have died, the new system shows the acceptance of a social occurrence, and a real answer as to how the worst effects of such a problem can be annulled.
Now for the negatives
- This may not directly be a case of eugenics but by such child selection procedures, there is a chance that somewhere in the world such practices might re-emerge
- We mess around with nature at our peril?
- Can all those working for such a cause be trusted to look after the best interests of the child?
- I am sure that most babies are left for the best of reasons, but what of those babies, and there will be some, who are left because they are simply the wrong sex or simply surplus to requirements? What will happen to them?
- Can we, as a species or world-wide communities, be trusted to operate such a system, and is it possible to implement adequate safeguards and countermeasures should such a system fail
- What of the potential psychological scars once the bay concerned grows up to be an adult
My answer to all such questions is, I don’t know, but I admit this is a cop-out, for as the world population rises, this is maybe a question that will one day confront us all
If I had to go for one and the other, I think I would go with such a system, but I do so with great trepidation and reluctance.
That’s just my views though, what’s yours?