Chinese authorities have built a ‘baby abandonment’ building where parents can anonymously leave their unwanted children.
The building, located in Nanjing, eastern China, will provide a safe place for parents to leave their children – who will then be cared for at a nearby welfare home, according to reports.
The space – coined a ‘baby box’ by local media – will be electronically monitored so that when a baby is left an alarm will go off.
Staff the nearby Nanjing Welfare Home – located five minutes away – will then come to collect the child.
The building is air-conditioned and has humidity monitors. It includes an incubator, a bed and a thermometer.
There will be no CCTV – so the parents will be totally anonymous, a report on Shanghaiist has claimed.
Staff at the Nanjing Welfare Home hope the building will stop parents from leaving their children in parks or on the streets – where they often freeze to death.
Many feel forced to leave their children due to the government’s population control one child policy – introduced in 1979.
The news come as the city of Shenzhen has reportedly applied to the Guangdong provincial authorities to pilot such a facility next year.
Critics of the scheme have said it will encourage irresponsible parents to abandon their offspring.
Zhu Hong, the centre’s spokesman said: ‘We do this for the sake of the babies lives.
‘The parents might have to abandon them for unthinkable reasons. But the children are innocent and need to be protected.’
So far this year the home has received 160 babies.
China has a one-baby policy, introduced in 1979 to keep the country’s population under control, which restricts urban couples to having just one child.
Despite egalitarian policies in China, many families hope to have a son to provide for them in their old age.
As a result the country has a higher rate of female infanticide and lower ration of female to male births.
In August, a horrific image of a newborn baby drowned in a river caused outrage in China after it emerged on local social networking sites.
The picture – taken from a river bank in south east China – apparently shows a dead infant wearing a romper suit and a nappy several days after the newborn had been abandoned in the water.
The photo has appalled Chinese internet users who have set up an online search for clues to the baby’s identity.