More baby hatches expected

Residents visit an abandoned baby lying in a crib at a baby hatch in Guiyang, Guizhou province.

CHINA - Li Liguo, the Minister of Civil Affairs, made remarks Sunday on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions. "It (baby hatch) is still for trial operation while so far the benefit from the baby hatch outweighed the defect."

The baby hatch, which usually consists of an incubator, a delayed alarm device, an air conditioner and a baby bed, allows the parent to safely and anonymously abandon the infant there.

Social welfare workers would retrieve the abandoned baby about 5 to 10 minutes after one person places the baby in the hatch, press the alarm button, and leave.

In general, "the baby hatch has so far worked well to assure the infants abandon of personal safety, timely medical treatment, and quick access into assistance," he noted.

But he also conceded that in some large cities, the number of abandoned babies has seen evident increase over previous year with the advent of the baby hatches.

"Risks to social moral and government responsibility from sett ing up the baby hatch have been anticipated but we'll keep with the trial in a bid to maximise the child benefit," he pledged.