Benedictine Sisters in Ecuador inaugurate baby drop-off box

Santo Domingo, Ecuador, Dec 21, 2019 / 04:15 pm (CNA).- A group of religious sisters in Santo Domingo, Ecuador has installed the country’s first baby drop-off box, as an alternative to abortion for mothers who find themselves unable to care for their newborns.

The Missionary Benedictine inaugurated the country’s first “Cradle of Life” baby drop-off box on Dec. 10 in Santo Domingo. The box is located in the exterior wall of their Happy Valley Home, a temporary shelter providing foster care for at-risk girls and adolescents.

The sisters will support babies left in the box for up to three months. If the mother wishes to come back for the baby, she can also receive support from the Happy Valley Home. If the mother does not return after three months, the baby will be given up for adoption.

Sister Carmela Ewa Pilarska, a member of the home’s leadership team, said the project hopes to respond to cases of abandoned infants, such as those found occasionally in cardboard boxes or abandoned houses.

“We would like to be the voice for so many newborns who struggled to survive, and we’re speaking up for those newborns who didn’t have the same fate,” she said at a presentation of the “Cradle of Life” project.

Inside the drop-off box is a bassinet and a letter assuring mothers that their babies will be cared for with love and medical attention.

“We don’t know what happened in your life that you’re making this decision, and we’re not judging it,” the letter says.

Women can leave their babies safely and anonymously in the box. Once the door to the box is closed from the outside, it cannot be reopened, thus ensuring the baby’s safety. An alarm sounds inside the home, alerting the personnel of the baby’s arrival.

“After waiting a short interval to protect the anonymity of the person leaving the baby, the inner door is opened, the baby is retrieved and immediately given the necessary care,” Sister Pilarska explained.

“Every life is a gift. Mother Teresa of Kolkata said that children are like stars, there’s never too many,” she stressed.

The “Cradle for Life” initiative seeks to provide an alternative to abortions and follows in the footsteps of similar initiatives created in the United States and Europe. Notable efforts include Germany with 99 baby drop-off boxes, Poland with 45, the Czech Republic with 44, Hungary with 26 and Italy with eight. Such boxes are also present in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Malaysia and Japan, according to the Missionary Benedictine Sisters.

The sisters’ order was founded in Biala Cerkiew, Poland, in 1917 by Mother Jadwiga Josefa Kulesza, a cloistered Benedictine nun. Her goal was to help poor, abandoned, and homeless children, and she opened an orphanage after World War I.

The order currently has 280 sisters serving the needs of children in Poland, Ukraine, the United States, Brazil and Ecuador.

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  1. Jesus teachers us to “be alert at all times” as evil has many different faces. The link below will take you to an article “Baby Boxes” May Soon Save Lives in Michigan

    An extract from the article
    “But proposed legislation now on the governor’s desk in Michigan offers another option for mothers who feel they cannot keep their newborn infant. Newborns whose parents are unable or unwilling to care for them can be safely and confidentially surrendered to an emergency service provider in a specially designed “baby box.”

    Sadly, the downside to this is it has the potential to create a conventional means to make it less shameful and easier to encouraging a mother in difficulty, to break the maternal bond and abandon her baby. While leaving the unfortunate child without any hope, of ever knowing its parentage.

    We need to be alert to this evil, which lies with the state, in facilitating an ‘unaccountable’ abandonment of a child, as it opens a door to illicit actions that can facilitate ‘circles of corruption’ within a government agency etc. Whereas the legal documented giving over of a child to the state does not completely sever the maternal bond between the mother and child which forms an ongoing protective (accountable) link (History) between them.

    The reality is that presently the image of the “baby box” is been cultivated within Western Society, as some babies are now been placed in special care ‘Baby boxes’ in European countries, when the baby leaves the maternity hospital with its natural parents, incorporated into the box is a range of ‘goodies’ (care products)

    Does not this new ‘perceived caring’ (Baby box) for the most vulnerable (Mother and child in difficulty) by the establishment, procure a means to facilitate the needs (‘Goodies’) for a new cultural type of family in creating a commodity, in a friendly environmental baby box, with no strings (History) attached.

    Every child has a right to know and connect to its paternal history, an ‘abandonment box’ obliterates that innately known right.

    This needs to be confronted now before it becomes normal practice, within the whole of Western culture. “Stay awake”

    “Who is speaking out against this evil?

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • A comment made on another site in relation to my (Similar) post above
      ”I’m unsure where you’re from Kevin, but I’m from that life-affirming state known as New York (heavy sarcasm).
      What you refer to as a “Baby Box” seems to be the equivalent of what is known here as a “safe haven”. Most, if not all, hospitals here have procedures in place where a mother facing a crisis can give her new born baby to the hospital “no questions asked”. This is done to reduce (and hopefully eliminate) the phenomenon known as “garbage can” or “bathroom” babies where mothers deliver their children in back alleys or hotel/bus station bathrooms and leave them there to die. “One can only imagine the horrific fear and anguish facing these women, but thank God they choose this Safe Haven option instead of the alternative. They and their babies desperately need our prayers and assistance”

      I live in England, and to my present knowledge less than ten babies have been abandoned within the last five years I do not know how many have been put up for legal (Documented) adoption. This could be a reflection of higher abortion rates in the uk or better social care (Services) available Via the National Health Service. Normally news of an abandoned baby, would make National News.

      Your description of the phenomenon known as “garbage can” or “bathroom” babies where mothers deliver their children in back alleys or hotel/bus station bathrooms and leave them there to die” is very disturbing. I believe that this was also a common phenomenon in England during the Victorian era. Thankfully this generally no longer applies.

      Quote: ‘In the United Kingdom there are no baby hatches, as they are illegal: under section 27 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 the law states that any mother who abandons a child less than two years of age is a criminal and can face up to five years’ imprisonment. In practice, such prosecutions are extremely rare and would only occur if the circumstances of child abandonment showed actual malice, i.e. appeared deliberately intended to result in the death of the child. A mother who wishes to have her new-born baby adopted can do so. Counselling is designed to ensure that giving up the baby is her genuine, irrevocable wish’.

      While noting that in the West there is a constant (Huge) demand for New-borns (Not older children) who are put up for adoption.

      So, yes I agree “One can only imagine the horrific fear and anguish facing these women, obviously better social care would greatly reduce the need for mothers in destress to resort to what I perceive as abandonment boxes. It appears from your comment that these woman in anguish have only one of two alternatives ‘garbage can’ or the ‘politically correct named’ ‘Safe Heaven boxes’

      If that is the case, yes absolutely “They and their babies desperately need our prayers and assistance”.

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

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