Kumamoto baby hatch says it received 9 infants in fiscal 2012
MAY. 23, 2013 – KUMAMOTO —
Jikei Hospital, which offers to anonymously accept children from parents who feel they cannot raise their children, has released a report on the number of babies left in its baby hatch.
Jikei Hospital Board Chairman Taiji Hasuda said the catholic hospital’s baby hatch received nine babies between April 2012 and March this year, TBS reported Thursday.
According to the hospital, seven of the mothers who put their babies into the hospital’s care also provided their addresses. One of those was from Kumamoto, and this year for the first time a parent traveled from Hokkaido to seek help.
The hospital said that it received 17 infants in 2007, 25 in 2008, 15 in 2009, 18 in 2010, 8 in 2011, bringing the total to 92 since it started the service. It added that exactly half of the babies were male and half female.
Information taken from parents reveals that three of the children were born in Kyushu, two in the Chugoku region of western Honshu, one from Hokkaido, and two from undisclosed locations. Jikei said that new family registers were drawn up for the children by the Kumamoto city authorities, TBS reported.
Kumamoto City Mayor Seishi Koyama said, “We are beginning to see babies brought in from far afield and some for whom information about their place of birth was not provided. We are looking into the safety considerations around women driving long distances alone immediately after giving birth at home, as well as the legal issues surrounding individuals whose place of birth is unknown.”
Over the years, people have left the babies at the hospital for some bizarre reasons. One woman left her baby there because she wanted to study abroad; in another case, a woman tried to use the hatch as a temporary babysitting service while she worked and, in a third case, a man who was given custody of his nephew, embezzled the boy’s inheritance before abandoning him in the hatch. The system has been subject to misuse since its inception, after a man left a 3-year-old preschooler in the hatch on the day it opened.