In thinking about the abandoned babies in Korea, and how the Baby Box operated by the Rev. Lee Jong Nak of the Jusarang Church is constantly attacked by those who are against adoption, and by those who care more about institutionalizing the children than to find permanent homes for them, I visited the Baby Safe Haven website and was very encouraged by what I read, and immediately recognized that this is what Korea needs to adopt. In fact, the Baby Box operated by the Rev. Lee is what is widely practiced in all 50 states in the US as the Baby Safe Haven program. Korea needs to adopt the same program to save more children being abandoned in Korea.
The Baby Safe Haven website is at: http://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/law.php
The following is an excerpts from the website.
"Each state has a law in place to allow an unharmed infant to be relinquished to the proper authorities, no questions asked. Since the first safe-haven law was enacted in Texas in 1999, all U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, have passed safe-haven legislation, and every state has reported lives saved through the existence of these laws. Due to less-than-perfect-reporting methods, they don't know the exact number but estimate that in the past decade, these laws have saved well over 1,000 infants.
In the US, the late 1990s had a surge in infant abandonments, many resulting in the death of these innocent babies. In response to these incidents, a movement erupted to allow parents to relinquish custody of unharmed newborn infants without fear of prosecution. At the time, parents risked criminal prosecution for neglect or abandonment.
"Baby Safe Haven" laws or infant abandonment laws were created to remove the potential for prosecution so long as children were given unharmed and given to proper authorities. Since the first law was adopted in Texas in 1999, each state across the US has enacted a Safe Haven law. While each state's law is different, they all ensure the safety of newborn infants and the protection of parents who decide to properly relinquish their child.
Safe Haven laws have been remarkably successful. Unfortunately, babies are still illegally and unsafely abandoned, in part because women do not know that they have another option. It is important that these laws are widely promoted and that women in need are informed that they are not alone."
Today, I sent this website and introduced the concept of the Baby Safe Haven to one of the foremost authority in the child welfare experts in Korea and asked her to learn about this and try to help Korea to adopt such concept.
The Baby Box is just the concept born out of the same concern as the Baby Safe Haven - to save the lives of children being abandoned.