Philosopher Edmund Burke once said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Accordingly, there are a number of people who bravely rise to the challenge in combating the world’s cruelty. One of which is Pastor Lee Jong-Rak.
In South Korea, cases of baby abandonment is a growing problem. Since the 1950’s, this problem has plagued the nation. To help solve this problem, a concerned citizen named Pastor Lee invented the “baby box.”
The baby box is a safe way for parents who want to hide their identities while giving their newborn away to someone who can better raise them.
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The way it works is simple. Parents can leave their baby in the box and ring the bell afterwards. Near the box is small slip that the parents could fill out to state the child’s name, his or her date of birth, and any previous vaccinations.
Pastor Lee, together with his wife and some volunteers, care for the babies until they can be successfully moved to orphanages.
Back in 2009, when the baby box was launched, undocumented babies could be legally adopted — allowing Pastor Lee to operate freely. But after two years, South Korea adapted Hague’s international ruling of banning undocumented orphan babies for adoption. Since the entire premise of the drop box is to offer anonymity to parents, the project is strolling along a grey area.
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Regarding the legality of his cause, Pastor Lee said:
“If some people say the baby-box is illegal, then we can make it legal. There is nothing illegal about saving someone’s life.“
For some authorities, they see the baby box as encouraging parents to abandon their children.
Here are some thoughts and opinion from social media users regarding the baby box:
Whether the baby box project brings a long-term solution or causes more problems is still up for debate. But one thing is for sure, Pastor Lee’s years of service have saved hundreds of abandoned babies from an unfortunate end.
Watch a short documentary about Pastor Lee’s baby box below.
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