Aneta Tokarčíková, 18, who has placed her daughter
in a baby box in Ostrava at the end of January, wants her child back. That would be for the first time that a baby placed in a baby box would get back to their mother’s arms.
Barborka was placed in the baby box in Ostrava on 26 January 2009. (ČTK)Barborka was placed in the baby box in Ostrava on 26 January 2009. (ČTK)

Speculation arose on Tuesday that the three-month-old baby Barborka had been abused. According to the mother, the child had a broken arm. However, doctors, who were examining the girl from the baby box, did not come to this conclusion.

For the first time ever, police have become involved in a case of a baby placed in a baby box. The founder of the baby-box system, Ludvík Hess, sees a problem in this. “The whole anonymity, on which I put emphasis, is lost. This has happened for the first time, and I’m glad that the first fourteen children that baby boxes had helped to save, remain in anonymity,” Hess told the online daily Týden.cz.

How did the injury occur?

Police does not have any information proving that the child had been mistreated. “We haven’t found any evidence proving it,” Roman Vojta, head of Ostrava criminal police said. In his opinion, the child has a very uncommon injury that the mother did not even have to notice. “We know that the injury had occurred about a week before the child was placed in the baby box. Expert opinions should make clear what had happened,” Vojta said.

“I can’t explain it. There was no willful negligence. It must have been an accident. Maybe it happened when her clothes were being changed,” Tokarčíková said. She added that she would now do everything to get the child back in her care. At first, however, she has to settle her own living standards and find a new home for herself and the child. She said a problem with a place to live was the main reason why she had decided for such a drastic step.

“We will do everything so that the child can get back to the family,” Judita Kachlová from the social department at the Ostrava town council said on the case. On Tuesday, a court issued a preliminary measure on placing the child in children’s centre Domeček. “The decision is valid for one month. If it is not extended, the child may return to its mother. By that time, however, we have to have evidence that the woman is really the child’s mother,” she said adding that it is possible to ask for cancellation of the preliminary measure.

The mother wants to see her daughter

The director of the Domeček centre, Zdeněk Novotný, said that the centre will not prevent Tokarčíková from visiting her daughter. “We can certainly make it work somehow,” he said. The young woman wanted to visit her daughter already on Tuesday. “I got lost and got there late. They didn’t let me see her. I’m going to go there today again,” she said.

The mother placed Barborka in the baby box on 26 January. It was the fifteenth child in the Czech Republic that ended up in one of the baby boxes. The baby box in Ostrava was opened in November last year as the fifteenth baby box in ČR. At the same time baby boxes in Frýdek-Místek and Opava were opened. The girl was the first child that was placed in one of the baby boxes in the region.

Baby boxes are heated boxes that alert the hospital staff that a child has been placed in it, and the staff is able to get to the child within several minutes. A mother who finds herself in a difficult situation may place her child in the baby box without being punished. Baby boxes are installed in such a way so that mothers remained anonymous when placing the child there.