Don't throw your baby in a dumpster sticker

There's not much context for this image uploaded to Imgur by, which uses pictograms to encourage people to take unwanted babies to hospitals rather than putting them into dumpsters. The image title implies that this one is on a hospital door, though other reports suggest that similar stickers are to be found on actual dumpsters.

Local hospital's good advice is good


  1. There are people who design these stickers, people who sell them, people who buy them for their institution, people who install them, and most importantly, people who recommend their installation.

    This leads to the question: did someone perform a scientific study that demonstrated that these stickers will decrease the number of babies that are tossed head-first into dumpsters?

    1.  If you don’t know about the baby-saving service, how can you use it? Proper signage helps people every day, to find the information kiosk, to find the toilets, to find the correct location to hand over a child they can’t look after so it doesn’t end up dying in a gutter.

    1. With even greater emotional distance I can imagine one with a crossed out baby going into a dumpster next to a baby going onto a plate (with Funkadelic‘s America Eats Its Young playing on a loop.)

  2. Reminds me of the dumpsters they have in some German hospitals for women to, uhm, dump their unwanted babies in. Sad.

  3. From the linked article:

    “The ads are blunt:
    “Are you pregnant?” a voice asks in one.
    “Yes,” a girl responds.
    “Do you have a choice?”
    Then there are images of a dumpster, a storm drain, the inside of a garbage can, the beach and a toilet.
    The girl yells “No!” And the ad ends by urging the young woman to leave the baby at a hospital, no questions asked.”

    Notice there is NO option for either getting an abortion (chemical or surgical) or raising the baby.  Oh no, if you’re young and unmarried, the only thing you know how to do is throw your newborn into someplace filthy and dangerous.

    Meanwhile, Texas and Alabama are “held up as models of success.”  The law passed in Texas in 1999, and so far 2 babies have been brought into hospitals.  The law passed in November 1998 in Alabama, and they’ve had 8 babies brought to hospitals since then.

    “There are no authoritative statistics on the number of abandoned newborn babies. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found, by compiling reports from newspapers around the country, that 105 newborns had been abandoned–33 of them were found dead.”

    I was glad to see the article ended with a quote from the director of an organization “that has served nearly 300 women and their babies since 1996 by helping with everything from prenatal care to adoption. “Why offer where to abandon your baby? Why not offer prevention as well?””

    Yeah, 300 babies (and their mothers) seems like a much bigger success story than 2+8.

    1. I think the point of these stickers it letting someone know that hospitals and fire stations are willing to take their baby, no questions asked. This program is aimed at the person who is months (likely 9 months) past the point when prevention or abortion are an option. It is not telling an unwed mother what to do. It’s telling a person who has given up and is about to abandon their baby that there is an alternative. It would be great if we had so many prevention/abortion/adoption programs that were 100% successful so no one ever got to the point where they were abandoning a baby, but until then…

      1.  Better sex ed in all schools (I was raised SDA, they advocated abstinence until marriage, but taught us exhaustivly about contraception and STDs in case we didn’t take their first option) would help solve huge numbers of problems.

        As would a better barrier method than currently-available condoms :(

      2. You might want to read the article, or at least the parts I quoted in my post.  There is no epidemic of women dumping babies.  Other than a few token examples, women are NOT throwing their newborn babies out with the trash.  Less than three dozen in 14 years is not a real problem requiring massive governmental action.

        Besides, since locations were not specified in the report, some or most of those 33 dead-after-being-abandoned newborns in 14 years might have been abandoned at hospitals or other “places of refuge”.

        The idea behind these stickers is based on the assumption that women cannot make appropriate decisions when they are pregnant and therefore need government involvement to push them in the right direction.

        Why aren’t there stickers telling new mothers in desperate straits where they can go to get food, shelter, childcare, and medical attention…free and with no judgment attached?

        Now THAT would be helpful…..but somehow there seems to be a different agenda at work.

        1. Wanted to add:  a woman so desperate that she cannot come up with a different option than abandoning her baby in a dangerous place is (by definition) not thinking clearly.  There may be underlying mental health issues (why isn’t she getting ongoing treatment for that?….oh, that’s right, healthcare in the US), or she may be in an acutely desperate — even if only temporary — situation.

          In either case, she’s not going to go to a dumpster, open the lid, see the sticker and realize “oh, geez, if I just grab a bus — which means finding money for the fare — and go to the hospital, I can leave the baby there instead.”

          Besides, in every newspaper report I have read of a baby being dropped off at a refuge point, the person doing the dropping-off has NOT been the mother.  Think about that for a moment.

          Long story short, this idea doesn’t actually work, except to provide talking points for people who want to demonize women.

  4. Oh. . . that blue box represents a dumpster. . . I though it was a washing machine. . . soooo. . .  I can still wash the baby in the Whirlpool then?   Cool.

    1. Man I sympathize… Sometimes you just have to clean them but you dont want to touch their filthy purulent carcasses.

  5. At my fire station, holding my computer monitor up off the desk is a tupperware tote. One day I realized it said “baby drop-off kit”. It has forms and instructions on what to do if a baby is dropped off. I knew we were a baby drop-off point, but I didn’t realize we had a kit for it. Now when somebody says “get the baby drop-off kit!”, I know where it is.

  6. So maybe this didn’t make national news but…

    In 2002, a former UC Santa Cruz student who pled guilty to throwing her baby in a dumpster was ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service, which included spending time putting stickers like these on Santa Cruz dumpsters to prevent other women from throwing out their babies and to promote a new “Safe Haven” law that allowed women to drop off unwanted babies within 72 hours of the babies’ births. There was a lot of debate at the time as to whether this was too cruel a punishment for a young woman who pretty clearly had some serious emotional issues. She ended up doing it, along with some other awareness-raising action, like making a promotional video for the law. The stickers were still all over Santa Cruz dumpsters last I checked.

  7. After some deep breaths, I realize that this is actually positive.  A woman with a baby she can’t support should NOT have custody.  It’s been well proven that the child’s best shot at life in this case is to be adopted — which will quickly happen given the backlog of barren couples who actually WANT that child — and well away from its unfit biological mother.

    This is actually more humane to the baby and society at large than putting the mother on welfare because every bit of that welfare is taken at gunpoint from other people.

    In fact, I was very surprised to learn recently that modern child support law and welfare for single mothers has essentially banned adoption (that is, reduced it by 99% since the 50’s) because it artificially — and violently due to taxes — allows unfit single mothers to keep their children rather than giving them up to better-fit adoptive parents.

    (Ergo, when arguing about welfare with someone, you have to decide whether you care more about women OR children.)

    One important catch: Once she puts the baby in that hatch, it should be over. No chance to reunite. It has to be final.

    1. “every bit of that welfare is taken at gunpoint from other people.”

      I’m guessing you took a few too many breaths and are now hyperventilating.

    2. Does that mean that we can remove children from any parents if we don’t like the cut of their jib?

      Because that is one creepy screed.

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