Japanese Toddler Dropped Off At "Baby Hatch"

May. 18, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A 3-year-old boy was left by his father in a "baby hatch" at a Catholic hospital in Japan, provoking loud outcries and suggestions that hospital officials should re-think a system designed to save infants from abortion or abandonment.

The Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto had installed a "baby hatch"-- also known as the Stork's Cradle-- for use by mothers who cannot care for their own newborn babies. The hospital has promised to care for any babies left in the hatch.

But the first child left in the "baby hatch" was not an infant, but a 3-year-old boy, who was able to give hospital officials his name and report that he "came with Daddy" to be dropped off.

Hospital officials have declined to comment on the case, except to say that the child is healthy. And law-enforcement officials say that no law was broken, since the child was never in danger. But editorial writers, citing the obvious abuse of the "baby hatch," are urging hospital officials to close the hatch.