Japan’s first baby drop-off hatch is open!

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    Kumamoto’s “Baby Post,” which I blogged about in November, has finally opened:

    A hospital here has finished building a controversial baby drop-off point allowing people to anonymously drop off newborn babies they do not want to raise.

    Jikei Hospital, the institution that built the drop-off point, plans to have a local public health center inspect it on Tuesday. The hospital plans to start operating it as early as the end of the “Golden Week” series of holidays.

    The drop-off point, named “Akachan Posuto: Konotori no Yurikago” (Baby Postbox: Stork’s Cradle), is the first of its kind in Japan. It consists of a hatch measuring 50 centimeters by 60 centimeters that opens to a warmed bed where newborn babies can be placed.

    When the hatch is opened, a sensor is activated, and workers in the hospital are alerted with a buzzer. A camera placed above the bed also sends images of the baby to a monitor.

    Here’s a video of a demonstration of the hatch in action:

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