Senators table new law on baby hatches
Senators introduce a draft law to the State Duma on baby hatches
Moscow 28 December 2015
According to a new edition of the draft law, authority for the organisation and financing of the Russian network of baby boxes (or hatches) will be transferred to the regions.
The draft law was prepared by three senators: Chairman of the Federal Council Committee on Rules and Organisation of Parliamentary Activities, Vadim Tulpanov, the First Deputy Chairman of the Federal Council Committee for Science, Education and Culture, Lilia Gumerova and Elena Afanasyeva, member of the Federal Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction.
Senators propose to amend the Federal Law “On Basic Guarantees of the Rights of the Child in the Russian Federation”, in particular, to present one of its conditions as follows: “The bodies of state power of subjects of the Russian Federation, in accordance with the law of the Russian Federation, can create designated safe areas for the life and health of a child anonymously abandoned after their birth…”
According to Vadim Tulpanov the draft law provides the place for the safe anonymous abandonment of new-borns a legal and state status and transfers the authority to the subjects of the Russian Federation to ensure the functioning of baby boxes.
“Baby boxes make it possible to not only save the lives of infants, but also the fate of mothers who, having the opportunity to leave their children in baby boxes, can avoid criminal prosecution for leaving a child in danger or killing the child. I think that despite all of the arguments about the loss of family values and the immorality of society by legalising the abandonment of children, we must first and foremost seek to save the lives of children,” highlighted Tulpanov.
A baby box, or “baby hatch” is a special container, which is placed in hospitals, with a door opening outwards. 30 seconds after a child is placed inside the door is locked and a member of staff on duty will see a hospital alarm lamp light up, alerting to the fact that the box is no longer empty. The purpose of a baby box is to help a child survive when a mother decides to get rid of them. It is possible to give up a baby anonymously without risking their health. Moreover, since legally the mother has not abandoned the child, she has the opportunity to change her mind and go back for them.