Idea behind window of life for orphans debated

Another infant has been left at Krakow’s “Window of Life.” Brought to the “Window” on Dec. 4, the baby was immediately taken to the Neonatology Clinic of the College of Medicine at Jagiellonian University.

“The baby is in good condition,” said Dr. Dorota Pawlik of the Neonatology Clinic. “It is a nice boy. Now he is undergoing an examination.”

The boy is the fourth baby to be left at the “Window of Life,” established almost two years ago at the Sisters of the Nazarene convent. The other three children – two girls and a boy – are already adopted.

The boy found on Dec. 4 was wrapped in a blanket containing a picture of Saint Michael the Archangel and a piece of paper with the words “Gaspar, I am sorry. I love you. Mom.
The “Window of Life” is a place where new parents can anonymously and safely bring newborns.

Located on ul. Przybyszewskiego 39, the heated, ventilated baby room has a window which can be opened from the outside.
After the window is opened to deposit an infant, an alarm sounds to alert the nuns at the convent.

“The Window of Life” is an initiative of the Family Department of Metropolitan Curia and Caritas of Krakow’s Archdiocese. The idea is not a new one.

In the 18th Century in Warsaw, “the home of foundlings” was established by a French-born priest, Gabriel Peter Baudouin.
The home’s gate had a hole containing a trough. The baby was placed in the container, a string was pulled to move the container insider and a bell rang to summon someone to retrieve the infant.
The home existed until the end of World War II. Currently Warsaw has a Little Child Home on ul. Nowogrodzka 75.
“?The Window of Life’ was established to take note of a problem of babies thrown on the scrap heap,” said Bogdan Kordula, a priest.
Mothers who hide their pregnancy and do not want to give birth at hospital can leave the baby in “The Window of Life” without any legal consequences.

“Unfortunately, giving up an infant without resigning parents’ rights lengthens the adoption procedure. However, we must remember that there is a child’s life at stake. It is better for the infant to find a new family than die.”
Beata Stawiarska, chairman of the Public Adoption Protection Center in Krakow, says the idea of “The Window of Life” is wrong. She says it should not be made easier for a mother to abandon her baby.

Giving up a baby anonymously is not a crime in Poland. Before a woman decides to take such a step, she can get professional psychological care at the Adoption Center.
A baby left in “The Window of Life” has no birth certificate and no identity.

Not all mothers know that after giving birth to a baby in a hospital, they may leave it there without any legal consequences.
After leaving the baby, a mother has up to six weeks to make a final decision.
If she decides to give up the baby, it will be put up for adoption.

But the main goal of the Nazaretanki nuns, and the reason for “The Window of Life,” is to save a child from a terrible death. And for some desperate women, the cloak of anonymity is important.

The convent is not visually monitored, and it is located on a quiet street. It is more difficult for a hospital to provide the same privacy.

Still, leaving a baby in “The Window” is an extreme situation, the last hope for unwanted children who were not left at a hospital. And so the Nazaretanki nuns make their appeal: “All the mothers who cannot bring up your children- do not kill them, do no not throw them on the scrap heaps, please. Leave them here in ?The Window of Life.’ Let them be adopted. Give them a chance for life and love.”

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