Friday, May 4, 2012

Foundling Wheels and Baby Hatches

A baby hatch is a place where mothers can bring their babies, usually newborn, and abandon them anonymously, in a safe place to be found and cared for. This kind of arrangement was common in medieval times and in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the device was known as a foundling wheel. Foundling wheels were taken out of use in the late 19th century but a modern form, the baby hatch, began to be introduced again from 1952 and since 2000 has come into use in many countries, notably in Germany where there are around 80 hatches. The hatches are usually in hospitals or social centres and consist of a door or flap in an outside wall, which opens to reveal a soft bed, and is heated or insulated. Sensors in the bed alert carers when a baby has been put in it so that they can come and take care of the child.

*All links in their respective languages *

'Cribs for Life' in Italy - LINK

Przybyszewski Monastic Order of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Poland - LINK

Przybyszewski Monastic Order of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Poland - LINK

Krakow, Poland. Photo credit: A. Barbarowski - LINK

Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto, Japan - LINK

"Baby box" at a regional hospital in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. - LINK

 A cradle, designed specifically for abandoned babies, in Lahore, Pakistan, with a sign urging parents to give away their newborns rather leaving them in a garbage bin to die. - LINK


The first infant 'safety island' in Shijiazhuang City, China - LINK

The 'door of hope' at a  Johannesburg orphanage in South Africa - LINK

Una Culla per la Vita, Italy - LINK

Baby hatch called a "Baby Box" in the Czech Republic - LINK

Abandoned baby window in Malaysia. LINK

Baby hatch at the Hospital of Innocents in Florence, Italy. - LINK


The oldest living window in Santo Spirito in SASSI, Rome -  LINK

'The Window of Life' in Bydgoszcz, Poland. - LINK

Golenieow, Poland - LINK


'Window of Life' in Gdansk, Poland. - LINK

Baby hatches in Hamburg, Germany - LINK

"Babyklappe" at St. Hedwig - Krakenhaus, Berlin, Germany  - LINK

LaRuota” (a wheel resembling a lazy susan) that turned to the inside of a local foundling home, where the baby was collected for processing at a larger regional home. - LINK

Foundling wheel in La Paz, Bolivia - LINK

A baby hatch in Kumamoto, Japan - LINK

Window of Life in Poland - LINK

Photo credit: © Dariusz Smigielski -

Info from here

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