Kumamoto Hospital To Allow Confidential Childbirth

Kumamoto hospital to allow confidential childbirth

A hospital in southwestern Japan plans to accept mothers who want to give birth in complete confidentiality. It says cases would be limited to women in desperate situations, such as those with unwanted pregnancies or in financial difficulty.

Jikei Hospital in the city of Kumamoto announced on Saturday that it would go ahead with the plan on its own, after negotiations with the city government fell through.

It says the program is aimed at discouraging pregnant women in difficult situations from giving birth alone at home, or in other dangerous circumstances.

Under the program, mothers would only have to reveal their names to a consultant at the hospital and can give birth there.

If a mother gives the baby up, the child will have the opportunity to learn about the parent's identity at a certain age.

Jikei Hospital already operates a baby hatch, which allows parents to leave their infants anonymously.

Takeshi Hasuda, deputy director of the hospital, said that denying confidential births may lead to precarious situations for babies. He said the program will be limited to cases in which the hospital determines there are no other options.

Germany allows confidential childbirth at hospitals and grants the children the right to know their mothers' identity when they reach a certain age.