Questions & answers

Why was the baby window set up?

The purpose of the baby window is to give new mothers an offer of help in a desperate situation and to help prevent child abandonment and infanticide. A mother who abandons or kills her child, even in the most desperate of situations, may well face a term of imprisonment, whereas placing the baby in the baby window is not punishable by law.

For how long can I still lay claim to my child, and how can I prove that I am the child's natural mother / father?

A child can be claimed back up to the point where an adoption order is enforced. This process takes at least 12 months. It is best for the parents to contact the local Child and Adult Protection Authority (KESB). The authority will arrange for a DNA test to be carried out to make sure that the child is not being re-claimed by the wrong people.

What help and assistance is provided by the Swiss Aid for Mother and Child (SAMC) foundation?

The SAMC is a ZEWO-certified, independent charitable foundation whose key focus is to provide mothers in need with help and advice. It gives counselling and direct financial, material, legal and psychological help to women, couples and families who have got into serious difficulties due to pregnancy or the birth of a child. It can provide the addresses of other specialists, nurseries, baby-minder groups and sheltered accommodation. The service is free of charge. It helps to re-unite parents with their children after they have been given up, and to enable life with the child to begin anew.

How much financial help does the SAMC provide in individual cases?

It depends on the individual circumstances. The SAMC provides professional assistance and, depending on circumstances, may well cover all the costs related to a baby's needs.

Do inquiries with the SAMC remain anonymous?

Yes, anonymity is guaranteed. However, the identity of the applicant has to be known in cases where material or financial help is being provided, and other documents may have to be submitted. The counsellors at the Swiss Aid for Mother and Child foundationmpany are bound by the duty of confidentiality.

Is the baby window legal?

Yes. It helps to prevent child abandonment and infanticide, and thus helps to save lives. Nobody who uses the baby window is committing a criminal act. The baby is placed in safe hands and receives excellent care and attention.

Some legal professionals have criticised the baby window because it enables parents to place their children anonymously in safe hands. As a result, the child may never know where it comes from and suffer for the rest of its life. To deduce from this that the baby window is illegal is not correct. If a child is not given the chance of life, it will never be able to think about where it comes from in later years.

We recommend mothers and fathers to contact the Swiss Aid for Mother and Child foundation (0800 811 100 free calls). In a confidential meeting, you will be given all the help and advice you need on life together with your child.

We also recommend that you enclose a letter with your baby providing as much information on the circumstances behind your decision as possible, or get in touch with the Child and Adult Protection Authority (KESB).