The Wheel of the Innocents.



Beginning in 1445, this grate located on the outside of the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) served as a drop-off point for the foundlings of Florence. This is what happened when a woman abandoned her baby here:   

She turned the wheel. The child spun around in turnstile like a pack of
cigarettes at a 24 hour deli. Once on the other side, the child began a
short slide down a chute into "the basin of abandonment". On either
side of the basin kneeled two terra-cotta figures. For looking over the
basin was Mary and Joseph, the basin doubling as a manger. The child is
quickly picked up and brought to be wet-nursed. But for one brief
moment the child is Jesus himself.

The Ospedale degli Innocenti has cared for over 375,000 in its five and a half centuries, and continues to help care for abandoned children today.

-- Curious Expeditions

The use of the wheel ended in 1875, but the idea itself survives:

Technicians [in Rome] are designing a high-tech version of the traditional
“revolving crib”, or “foundling wheel”. Half of the wheel will be
outside the hospital wall and the other half inside. Staff inside the
hospital will turn the wheel to collect the infant without seeing who
has left it.

Grazia Passeri, the head of the Italian Civil
Rights Association, said that the first modern “foundling wheel” would
be installed at a leading hospital by Christmas. “We have to face the
fact that a lot of women simply cannot cope with being mothers or
become pregnant by accident or through rape,” she said.

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Newest 5 Comments


'its so unfair men aren't allowed to get pregnant and womaen can. sexist, even'

'those bastard brats are MENANCES, and their slut mothers get buckets of freebies and rewards they don't deserve'

'rapists would make way better parents than their fifteen year old victims'
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This option still exists in many places. Japan recently opened a modern version of the same thing. Calling it a baby drop box. Unfortunatly, the first "baby" was a three year old kid.

Regardless of the above, yes the father has rights to the child, but for whatever reason his rights are often not followed up on.

If this gives a mother and child an option for a better life, I say give them the chance.
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Mike is right. A woman has the right to choose, but the father has no say. Yes, some unwanted babies are concieved through rape. But more women get pregnant by lying to their partners about birth control than get pregnant by rape. So the woman gets pregnant by deceit and the man has to pay child support. This happens more often than you might think. She can have an abortion if she doesn't want to be a mother, but the man has no such option if he doesn't want to be a father. Of course I don't think that men should be able to force womaen to have abortions, but there is no way of men opting out of fatherhood if the woman chooses to have the baby, which is patently unfair. Sexist, even. And no, paternal abstinence is not the solution: it takes two, people.
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I am torn between what I was raised to believe and my own personal view. Very controversial and it is sad that it is shown to be the "norm" for centuries, and up to today.
It sure beats paramedics breathing life into a dumpster baby.
L has a great view on it, and being a very irisponsible
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