Revisiting the baby hatch on Valentine’s Day

The nation’s first baby hatch seemingly has not generated the kind impact it was initially expected to create as it has only received one infant since its opening in May last year.

This is despite — or because of — all the news on baby dumping and Valentine’s Day of late.

Located at the tranquil neighbourhood of Kampung Tunku, the baby hatch, run by NGO OrphanCARE, has not received any new infant since receiving its first, a baby boy, in July last year.

Second hatch on the way

OrphanCARE management executive, Zulkiflie Mohd Aris, attributes the poor response to a lack of awareness among its target audience, partly due to its location.

To address the problem, the NGO is gearing up to open a second baby hatch in a more accessible location this year.

Zulkiflie says that the location might be outside of the Klang Valley, or in areas where he says baby-dumping is widespread, such as in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur.

He adds that an awareness campaign targeted at university students will soon be held to help spread word-of-mouth about the hatch.

“Students might not be the ones who dump their babies, but can disseminate this information to the right individuals,” he tells Komunitikini.

Baby-dumping remains high on the news agenda in Malaysia. According to a report last week, the nation recorded 19 known cases of baby dumping in last month alone, which brought to the total number of cases since 2005 to 517.

Zulkiflie meanwhile assured couples that the organisation is not judgmental of anyone brings their baby to the hatch.

“Whatever they have done, it’s not up to us to reprimand them. We are just providing a shelter to transfer the unwanted newborns to adopted families,” he says.

The baby hatch is built outside of OrphanCARE’s bungalow premise. It has a small door that opens to an incubator bed on which baby can be placed.

Parents can avoid being identified by placing their babies outside of working hours. However, they must sign a statutory declaration form before they leave the baby at the hatch.

OrphanCARE is operating on public donations. It can be reached via 03 7876 1900 or 6, Lorong SS1/24A, Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya.