Brussels to get its first baby hatch

Brussels is soon to become the second Flemish city with a baby hatch.  The not-for-profit organisation Corvia has had plans for the creation of a safe environment where people can leave behind a baby child they are unable to care for anonymously for many years now.  The council of state, Belgium’s highest administrative court, has now wiped away objections by the last Mayor of Evere, who had opposed the initiative.

The first baby hatch after Antwerp was supposed to open in Brussels in 2017, but in the suburb of Evere the local mayor blocked the initiative. Corvia took the matter to court and the council of state has now annulled the then mayor’s decision.  By the end of next week at the latest the baby hatch will be a reality.

Corvia spokeswoman Mathilde Peeters: “We are immensely satisfied that we won the case.  Each child has a right to a future. I can’t wait to inaugurate the baby hatch, but will await a meeting with the mayor. Parents, who place their child in the hatch anonymously, can reconsider their decision within two months.

Since 2017 a lot has changed in Evere.  The liberal mayor has been replaced by a Francophone socialist.  Ridoune Chalid, who has nothing against the hatch.

“I always believe babies are better off in a safe environment rather than out on the street or in a trash can.  I’ve been in contact with Corvia to ensure they can restart their activities.  I want to work together to see how a baby hatch can operate in Evere. Police and the prosecutor’s office need to be informed and notified how a child will be registered in the municipality”.

The Evere baby hatch is only the second in Belgium.  The not-for-profit organisation ‘Mothers for Mothers’ set up the first baby hatch in Antwerp two decades ago. Eighteen babies have been placed in the hatch in his time.

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