The "wheel" is not enough: help for mothers who wish to be one
Cradles for life and the possibility of giving birth anonymously are very important safeguards. But the note left by Noemi's mother, the little girl left at the Red Cross headquarters in Bergamo, speaks of a wish that circumstances have made impracticable. We need a place where, when women in difficulty want to be mothers, they can find all the necessary support and guidance

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At the little girl left by her mother in the Cradle for Life in Bergamo -once called Wheel- was given the name of Naomi. Noemi will soon have a family and a home, we hope for her “all the good and happiness in the world“, as his mother wished it in a touching note that in just a few lines manages to tell the story of a life:  

“Born this morning 3/5/2023, at home. Just me and her like in these 9 months. I can't, but I wish her all the good and happiness in the world. A kiss forever (from mom). I entrust you with an important piece of my life that I will certainly never forget."

Cradles for life are an important aid and it is good that publicity is given to it. Just as it is good that we know that every woman can give birth in hospital anonymously -i.e. without recognizing the newborn who will be placed in a state of adoptability- avoiding the risks of a home birth and often alone as it was for Noemi's mother.

But at least in some cases, probably in this case, let's start from the text of his note, perhaps the woman -who she wanted to self-name herself as "mother", even though in brackets), saying "I and she" and talking about "an important piece of my life"– he would not have wanted to separate from the creature. Perhaps that "I can't" could have become an "I can" and that "mom" could have come out of the parenthesis if the necessary help hadn't been lacking. In that note we read a desire destined to remain unfulfilled.

This isn't always the case. Perhaps only in a minority of cases is this the case. But it happens, as in this case, that the desire is not lacking and that it is the circumstances that make it impracticable.

So to the two principals -birth in anonymity, cradles for life- perhaps a third should be added, a place where mothers in difficulty who want it and do not want to be separated from their children can find the necessary help: continuous financial support, a job when it is missing, someone, a single person or a family, who is committed to supporting the mother in the commitment and joy of raising the child. The solutions can be varied in various ways, each story is different.

Perhaps some such places already exist, partly i Life Help Centers - such as the CAV Mangiagalli in Milan founded by Paola Bonzi– perform this function. But it would be necessary to de-hospitalize them, institutionalize them and "secularize them", making them places of meeting and relationships.

It can be done?

Marina Terragni


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