When "Rights" Meet Practicality
The United Nations is increasingly concerned at the spread in Europe of "baby boxes" where infants can be secretly abandoned by parents, warning that the practice "contravenes the right of the child to be known and cared for by his or her parents", the Guardian has learned.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which reports on how well governments respect and protect children's human rights, is alarmed at the prevalence of the hatches – usually outside a hospital – which allow unwanted newborns to be left in boxes with an alarm or bell to summon a carer.
...Perhaps the most taxing problem will be Germany, the powerhouse of Europe, which has about 80 baby boxes operating across the nation. The German constitution says all citizens have a right to "know of their origins" and fathers have a right to be part of a child's upbringing. Both are breached when a mother gives birth anonymously. Hatches are tolerated – but earlier this year German ministers floated the possibility of a new "legal framework for confidential births"....
In an email to the Guardian, Manfred Weber, German MEP and vice-chairman of the European People's Party – the largest grouping on the centre right – who signed the anti-UNCRC letter, said the issue was one of competing "rights". "Although I am convinced that a child is best raised within an intact family, the safety of children is of higher priority than their desire to know their biological parents," he said.
There is far too much guff talked about the right to know one's biological background, the idea that culture is genetically based is only mainstream in Social Services and far right parties. A happy and secure childhood trumps all the theory of the importance of "family".