List of babies given up, abandoned and killed in Switzerland

«In Germany around 40 babies are abandoned after being born every year in the hope that someone will find them in time. About two dozen dead new-borns are found every year in Germany. As a rule, it is by coincidence that the bodies are discovered. Investigators therefore estimate that the actual number of killed babies is forty times higher.» (Quote: Deutschlandfunk 01.03.2001, 19:15).

In Switzerland the circumstances are likely similar, with a population around ten times smaller. Infanticide and abandonment statistics are not available, at least not on a federal level. Therefore all the cases reported to Projekt Babyfenster (Project Baby Hatch) in the last years are listed here. Further reported cases can be registered at info(at)babyfenster.ch.

20 January 2019 | Healthy Newborn in the Baby window in Basel

On 20 January 2019, at 06:20 a.m., a healthy newborn was once again placed in the baby window at the Bethesda Hospital in Basel. The little boy was born the night before and is completely healthy. He remained in the hospital for a while for further medical clarifications. The Basel City Child and Adult Protection Authority was informed immediately. All the institutions involved in the baby window attach great importance to ensuring that the privacy of the baby and the mother is protected.

17 January 2019 | Dead Baby found in Reconvilier

On Thursday 17 January 2019 people found a dead baby in a garbage bag in Reconvilier in the Bernese Jura. Thereupon, the cantonal police put together several investigation teams that were able to locate the baby's mother within only 24 hours. Forensic examinations showed that the baby must have lived and breathed after birth. The exact cause of death is still being clarified. The mother and a man from her circle were taken into custody by the police.

26 August 2018 | New-born placed in the Baby-window at Einsiedeln Hospital

A healthy new-born was placed in the baby hatch at Einsiedeln Hospital at 11:24 a.m. on August 26th, 2018. The little girl was born that very day and will remain at the hospital temporarily for further medical observation. The Ausserschwyz Child and Adult Protection Authority has been informed immediately. A guardian has assumed the rights and obligations that normally apply to the child‘s parents. Particular care has been taken to ensure privacy for the baby and the mother.

21 September 2017 | First baby in the Basel baby window

The first baby was placed in the baby window at Bethesda Hospital in Basel. The little boy is 46 cm long and weighs 2,400 g. Since the opening of the first baby window in Einsiedeln in 2001, a total of 21 babies have been placed in baby windows in Switzerland. The baby window in Basel was opened on 26 November 2015. The mother is asked to get in touch with SHMK (helpline@shmk.ch), which can offer a confidential discussion in which the mother is offered the help she needs for life with the baby, free of charge.

24 August 2017 | Fourth baby in the baby window in Olten

On 24 August 2017 another baby was placed in the baby window at Olten Cantonal Hospital. He had been born the previous day. His mother left her child a letter written in Swiss German. She had to hide her pregnancy and his birth, she writes to her son, who is 43 cm long and weighs 1,940 g. It was on 20 February 2017 that a baby was last placed in the baby window in Olten.

20 February 2017 | Baby in Olten baby window

The little boy, measuring 48.5 cm and weighing 3,260 g, was was just a few hours old when he was placed in the baby window in Olten. The mother took a leaflet with her, which provides all the information she needs to know in ten languages. What's more, absolute confidentiality is always guaranteed. The little boy is the third baby to be taken into the care of medical staff at the Olten baby window.

11 August 2016 | Baby girl placed in the baby window in Bern

In the Lindenhofspital in Bern a newborn baby was placed in the baby window. The little girl, 3225 grams heavy and 52 cm tall, had been born the day before. It is well and remains for the time being for further medical examinations in the hospital. It is the third baby in the baby window of the Lindenhof group and the 18th, which has been laid since 2001 in a Swiss baby window.

21. July 2016 | | Baby girl placed in the baby window in Einsiedeln

A healthy new-born was placed in the baby window at Einsiedeln Hospital at 1:20 p.m. on 21 July 2016. The little girl was born that very day and will remain at the hospital temporarily for further medical observation. The Ausserschwyz Child and Adult Protection Authority was immediately informed.

14 January 2016 | Horgen – mother allows new-born to die

Between 14 and 15 January 2016 a young woman gave birth to a baby in her parents' home in the town of Horgen on Lake Zurich, then placed the child in a plastic container, covered it with laundry and hid it in a wardrobe. The child died a short while later as a result of acute heart failure, meaning the mother is now guilty of infanticide. If she had taken the baby to the nearest baby window in Einsiedeln (25 km away), the child would still be alive today and she would not be facing criminal proceedings. Placing a baby in the baby window is legal.

12 December 2015 | Two dead babies in Lucerne apartment

Shortly before Christmas, officers from Lucerne city police discovered two dead newborn twins in an apartment. According to forensic evidence, one baby exhibited head wounds, while the other died before cutting the cord. The 20-year-old mother, who is of foreign origin, was detained on remand and released again two months later subject to conditions. The Swiss foundling statistics listed on this website do not include babies who have never breathed.

11 September 2015 | Baby girl placed in the baby window in Einsiedeln

A healthy new-born was placed in the baby window at Einsiedeln Hospital on 11 September 2015. The little girl was born on the same day. She showed no signs of deficiency and no hypothermia, although she was only wrapped in a towel. She is the 12th baby to be placed in the baby window at Einsiedeln and the 16th to be placed in a baby window in all of Switzerland.

18 April 2015 | Baby girl placed in the baby window in Einsiedeln

On 18 April 2015, at 17:45, a new-born baby was again placed in the baby hatch at Einsiedeln Hospital. The baby is a healthy girl, 48 cm tall and weighing 3370g. She is the 11th baby to be placed in the baby window at Einsiedeln Hospital.

19 February 2015 | Baby boy placed in the baby window in Einsiedeln

A healthy new-born was placed in the baby window at Einsiedeln Hospital on 19 February 2015. The baby is a boy who was born three days earlier. The boy is the tenth child to be placed in the baby window since 2001.

4. February 2015 | Baby girl placed in the baby window in Bern

A new-born baby girl was placed in the baby window at Linden Hospital in Berne on 4 February 2015. She is well. There is no trace of the mother. The little girl was born the night before, according to a statement by the Canton. Since the opening of the first baby window in Bern in 2013, she is the second new-born to be placed there.

28 November 2014 | Baby boy placed in the baby window in Olten

On the afternoon of 28 November 2015, at around 14:00, for the second time, a new-born was left in the baby window in Olten. The strapping boy measures 53cm and weighs 3450g. The child and adult protection authorities were informed. A short time later, the mother got in contact and declared the identity of the child.

3 August 2014 | Baby girl placed in the baby window in Olten

On 3 August 2015, a new-born baby girl was handed over to the Canton hospital in Olten. Olten Hospital had established its baby window the previous summer and this was the first time it had been used.

4 June 2014 | Baby boy placed in the baby window in Einsiedeln

A healthy new-born boy was placed in the baby window at Einsiedeln Hospital on 4 June 2014. According to the authorities, the child was born on the same day. He is the ninth child to be anonymously placed in the baby window.

26 July 2013 | Abandoned baby in the Coop toilets in Thun

Shortly before closing time on 26 July 2013, a customer found a wailing baby in the disabled toilet in the Strättlingen Coop in Thun. The police brought the days old boy to the hospital. He was healthy, but the mother was untraceable.  However, she had left behind a letter in the baby's changing bag. On 1 August 2013, the police disclosed that the mother had been located. An inquiry by the Canton police has yielded the following result, six months after the incident: “After locating the mother, the KESB has sought to find a solution with her; we are unable give any more details at this point.” said media spokesperson Simona Benovici. «The child is healthy, but on the grounds of professional confidentiality, I cannot say any more than that», added Thomas Büchler, President of KESB upon being questioned. This is due to laws regarding data and privacy protection. «We have conducted extensive reviews and searched for the best solution for the child.»

16 February 2013 | Baby boy placed in the baby hatch in Einsiedeln

A healthy new-born was placed in the baby hatch at Einsiedeln Hospital at 12:55 p.m. on 16 February 2013. The little boy was born a few days earlier and will remain at the hospital temporarily for further medical observation.

16 January 2013 | Abandoned baby boy in TicinoAbandoned baby boy in Ticino

On 16 January 2013, a baby boy was found by police in Lugano in a parked car, suffering from hypothermia, malnourished and wrapped in a plastic bag. The mother was temporarily arrested on the grounds of gross negligence as well as the disregard for her duty of care.

20 February 2012 | Baby girl placed in the baby hatch in Einsiedeln

On 20 February 2012, a little girl was placed in the baby hatch at Einsiedeln Hospital. The baby hatch is expressly intended to help mothers “in hopeless situations”. Instead of killing their child, they can place it anonymously in safe hands.

19 February 2012 | Dead girl in Wimmis

Just one day earlier, a man discovered the body of a dead new-born girl at a waste and recycling centre in Wimmis, Bern. The mother was successfully located afterwards, as later reported by the Canton police. The mother had killed the new-born shortly after giving birth.

1 July 2011 | Dead new-born in Bellach

As compost plant warden Stefan Affolter was searching through deposited driftwood in the composting plant in Bellach on 1 July 2011, he made a gruesome discovery: between the logs lay the naked corpse of a new-born.