An alarm blaring in the middle of the night might drive some to anger, but for Pastor Jong-rak Lee it is the sound that prompts him to love. In the winter of 2009 Pastor Lee decided to build the Baby Box on the side of his house after the startling discovery of a baby in a cardboard box, abandoned on his doorstep on a freezing cold night.
Giving birth to a child outside of marriage as well as raising a child as a single mother are social stigmas in Korean culture that unfortunately have drastic effects the lives of the parent as well as the child. Some families have been know to go as far as to sever ties with the mother and child. Single mothers have a harder time marrying and they face adversity when looking for and retaining employment, some have been pressured into quitting by their co-workers. Because of this, some see the baby box as an alternative to terminating the pregnancy.
Pastor Lee believes there was a significant increase of babies dropped off after a new adoption policy went into effect in 2012 that requires all newborns to be registered in an official registry. Before the policy, Pastor Lee claims to have received about two babies per month, and after the policy that number gradually increased to about 19 per month. From December 2009 through August 2016, the baby box has received about 1,000 babies.
When babies are dropped off in the baby box they stay in Pastor Lee's home for up to four days and then they are transferred to a local hospital for medical check-ups and foster care facilities. Because of health reasons, mostly those with physical or mental disabilities, some of the babies end up staying at Pastor Lee's church.
We will be hosting a screening of the film “The Drop Box” as well as a Q&A session with Pastor Lee. This event will be taking place on Friday the 25th of November at Jubilee Church, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. There is a 20,000 KRW suggested donation that will go directly to Pastor Lee and his ministry.