As there once was a baby boom in society, many cases ended up with babies abandoned in empty boxes. Whenever these young babies were abandoned from their parents, they were taken care by nursing facilities or church, where many people open those boxes. This kind of ‘baby box’ can regarded as a positive aspect in some ways. Rather than being abandoned forever or being uncared for their entire life, babies can have a great opportunity to grow in a sufficient atmosphere by the caregivers who actually had opened the baby boxes. It can be the other way of welfare for the babies. However, baby boxes also are criticized in the aspect of violating the rights of the child. Putting the babies in the box and making them anonymous is not an ideal thing to do. Between these thoughts, the Sookmyung Times asked Sookmyungians how they felt about the use of a baby box.
-Debate Topic –
Baby Boxes Should Not be Used in Korean Society
College of Law ‘13
People abandon their children for many reasons. Some are too young and some are too poor to assume the responsibility of supporting a baby. Others abandon the infant because the child is born with an incurable disease or a disability. No matter what the reasons, abandoning a child is wrong and cannot be tolerated. Therefore, abandoned babies should be protected so that their rights and interests, as detailed in the law, are respected and fulfilled. Abandoning an infant is illegal, and the child is innocent. Recently, the baby box issue has become quite controversial in Korea. It is offered to mothers or parents who cannot raise their baby for personal reasons. Though the baby box has advantages like protecting the abandoned child, the baby box has many disadvantages, too. First, since the abandoned child is protected inside a baby box, parents tend to easily abandon their children, which causes an increase in child abandonment. Second, the baby box reduces the guilty of parents doing the abandonment. When parents abandon their baby in a baby box, the safety of the child is guaranteed. Also, children will have someone to care for them. Parents feel less guilty by shifting the blame on other people causing more children to be abandoned. Third, children who were abandoned in baby boxes have difficulty being adopted. Parents who wish to adopt a baby visit an adoption agency such as 'Holt,’ but children who were abandoned in baby boxes do not go to those agencies because they were not registered with the government at birth. Actually, only one out of 239 babies who entered a child welfare center was adopted last year. For all those reasons, I oppose the existence of the baby box.
Division of Business Administration ‘13
From the very moment of recognizing pregnancy, the fetus is considered to be a complete human in Korea even though it has yet to form human- like features completely. On top of that, babies in Korea are one-year-old at birth because the age system counts the nine months of pregnancy. In such a country where people value birth and life, abandoning babies from an unwanted pregnancy must be prevented. Of course, there is always an exception. Pregnant women who were raped or are too young to raise a child should not give birth or raise a child, and their decision to abandon the baby at an orphanage is understandable. However, dropping a fragile baby in front of an orphanage is very dangerous to the health of the child and can definitely lead to death in summer and winter. Use of a baby box that a baby’s body temperature regulated and allows the mother who just gave birth to escape “murder” of a baby should be considered positive. It is obvious to all that more babies have been saved compared to the past when there were no baby boxes. Yes, some people might say it costs a lot to build a baby box, and others might insist that the government should establish welfare for ‘single moms’ to assist them in raising their babies instead of encouraging abandonment via use of a baby box. However, the purpose of a baby box is to save innocent lives, not to encourage abandonment. Also, welfare services for ‘single moms’ would help to lessen the number of abandoned babies. Thus, the services in Korea, at the moment, are somewhat unrealistic. As an alternative, I think there is nothing better to ensure the life of the innocent except for the baby box. In Korea, where birth and life are esteemed and valued, we should maintain the baby box.