Laws and assessments

Placing a baby in the baby window has no consequences under criminal law

A mother who lays her baby in a baby window is not guilty of abandonment within the meaning of Art. 127 of the Swiss Penal Code (StGB) or of violating the parental duty of care and upbringing within the meaning of Art. 219 StGB.

No search for the mother is conducted

The approval of a parent according to Art. 265c of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB) can be waived if their whereabouts are unknown. This is deemed to be the case if the whereabouts are not known to the guardianship authority or the foster parents and cannot be determined after possible inquiries appropriate to the situation have been made. If the parents have not made a suitable arrangement for the care of the child and knew or had to have known that the child left behind would be considered for later adoption, then the whereabouts of the parents do not need to be found, especially if the parents express through their behaviour that they waive such investigations about their whereabouts and do not want to be consulted regarding decisions about the fate of their child (Hegnauer in Berne Comments, N. 15 on Art. 265c ZGB).

The obligation to provide support is waived

The obligation of the biological parents to provide support lasts until the adoption of the child. As a rule, support contributions are waived for foster parents who later wish to adopt the child. If the parents remain anonymous, then they cannot be held accountable for providing support during the short period of time before the child is given into the care of the foster parents.

The guardianship authorities organise the adoption

The arrival of a child in a baby window is immediately reported to the local guardianship authority. Children of anonymous parents are considered foundlings. They are placed under guardianship and initially supported by the municipality in which they were found. A foster home must be found and the adoption process can be initiated. If the parents are known, their approval must be obtained.

The parents can reclaim up to at least one year after

 The parents are entitled to claim back the child at least until an adoption order is enforced. Adoption can be made after one year at the earliest. Swiss Aid for Mother and Child provides the required financial and social assistance so that life with the child can be successful.