Foundlings and the Foundling Wheel. Great history of foundlings in Kate Addy’s book which is quite a few years old now but fascinating and very tragic. Some of us were the lucky ones!! We did at least survive, so very many did not.
The practice of using foundling wheels to dispose of unwanted children was commonly used in medieval Europe. Moral, legal, and social discourse over the use, function, and appropriateness of foundling wheels, baby hatches, and designated safe havens used to prevent infanticide is an unresolved centuries old debate that has yet to be resolved.
Child abandonment is one of the most painful dramas imaginable; regardless of the century a story takes place. Leaving a baby on the doorstep is a centuries old social problem that puts an infant’s life at risk and in most countries is a punishable offense. The plight of outcast newborns during the Middle Ages was a social and moral issue; many of the same questions and answers remain equally relevant today. The problem of unwanted newborns has been documented in Italy since Roman times when babies abandoned next to a column in a forum were either taken…
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