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Seoul's baby boxes filling up

Sunday, October 07, 2012 - 01:38

Anonymous baby abandonment in South Korea could be on the rise as new laws take effect. Julie Noce reports.

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There's been a delivery at this church in a working class neighbourhood in Seoul. A baby boy has been deposited in the church's baby box... handed over for the time being to Pastor Lee Jong-Rak. About two weeks old, the child was left with a bag of supplies, and a note from the mother. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN PASTOR, LEE JONG-RAK SAYING: "If you look at the letters that mothers leave with their babies, they say they have nowhere to go, because of the new law." A new set of laws recently went into effect that are making anonymous baby abandonment more difficult for biological parents. Supporters say it protects the child's right to know his or her origins... but critics say forcing parents to be identified will mean a need for more safe havens drop off centers. Social Affairs professor Chung Ick-Joong. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) PROFESSOR AT EWHA WOMEN'S UNIVERSITY, CHUNG ICK-JOONG SAYING: "The identity of the mother should be exposed in accordance with the law. This is a measure to protect adoptees' rights and to follow international law. Some parts of the law don't fit in with the reality of our country, but inspite of this, there's no doubt that the new law is the right path to follow." For now Pastor Lee, who is looking after 20 children aged 2 through 26, says he'll continue to run his baby box... vowing to keep it open until the government can provide adequate protection for the unwanted.

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Seoul's baby boxes filling up

Sunday, October 07, 2012 - 01:38