Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dropping the Baby Off

On the very day that Japan's first "Baby Drop Box" was opened at a Catholic hospital a 3-4 year old little boy was left. According to the child, "Daddy brought me."

Interestingly, it is a Catholic hospital that opened the drop box and government officials expressed concern that parents should not be allowed to drop off their babies anonymously.

While well meaning it makes it awfully easy to escape our responsibilities when they become too difficult. I know that child abandonment has existed in every culture and in every time. Of course abortion and birth control were supposed to eliminate these messy dilemmas for the modern man. But it doesn't seem to have done that. Darn.

It used to be that the extended family would help out when the difficulties of raising children due to poor health or economic struggles- but everyone is too busy now and working.

Italy and Austria also have baby drop offs. Below can be seen a baby drop off in Padua. It looks very much like a coffin doesn't it?

I mean what are we supposed to hope for here? That people only drop off little babies? That the age limits are extended so that a child of any age can be dropped off? If we cannot rely on the natural or even moral inclination for a mother to take care of her baby- how do you fix that? Better daycare? More money for working mothers? Eliminate the social stigma of single motherhood?

Maybe instead of concentrating on how we can make things easier for people we should try to communicate the idea that life is hard, struggle along the best you can, don't expect ease or even success and it will be the struggle that will define your character.

I saw "The Pursuit of Happyness" starring Will Smith and his little son. It was a beautiful movie of a struggle against incredible odds. The movie was completely lacking in sentimentality and by the end of the movie, eventhough you do figure out how things will probably work out (well)you come to the realization that no matter what the outcome, the battle has been won- the battle against despair and surrender and self pity.

"I have fought a good fight: I have finished my course: I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7


Raindear said...

You've gotta be kidding me. Real life surpasses the wackiness of sci-fi these days.

Edward said...

I'm sorry.
I don't know what you mean here, Mary.
These children WILL be neglected, ignored, abused or otherwise emotionally disposed of.
It would seem to me, in the face of these realities, that this is AT LEAST a means of ameliorating the situation somehow.
You know, even St. Vincent de Paul was thought to be overly "indulgent" in HIS day.
But just as I can see St. Teresa of Avila taking FULL advantage of the cell phone, so can I see St. Vincent, St. Philip Neri or even St. John MELCHIOR (and yes that's a way cool middle name) Bosco using this means for some good to be done to man.
And who knows? Perhaps ultimately saving a soul.

Madeline said...

As horrifying as child abandonment is, for centuries infants have been left on the steps of Churches, worldwide. It has been the practice of these Churches to welcome and provide for these abandoned little ones.

In this bitter, cynical and selfish age, the idea of entrusting your child to the care of another probably never occurs to many, and it seems more expedient to kill the child than to abandon him or her.

I am thankful that this Catholic Hospital is advertising that the Church's charity is still available.