Police in China are on hunt for a man who deserted a baby on a street during the wee hours of February 14. CCTV footage released by Chinese media shows suspect putting the baby outside a hospital before quickly running away on a cold winter day in Jiamusi, one of China’s coldest cities. Tiny boy was found and saved by a male nurse who took him to Neonatal Department.
Jiamusi is situated in north-east China near Russia. City’s daily temperature plunged down to below minus 20 degrees Celsius last week. The man dumped baby at around 1:30 Am last Wednesday in front of No 1 Hospital Affiliated to Jiamusi University. The boy was dumped just days before Chinese Lunar New Year, most important holiday in the country when families reunite. Upon medical examination, doctors at hospital said the boy was healthy. Medical staff called police and took the baby to Jiamusi Children’s Welfare Institution.
Police are looking for the suspect. Web users in China are also helping to spread information in hope of tracking down the man. It remains unclear whether man is the baby’s father or a relative. Abandonment of babies are not uncommon in China, especially among teenage parents. In April last year, a 15 years old mother in Shenzhen was caught throwing out her newborn daughter alive with rubbish. In November, a 19 years old top college student in Xi’an secretly gave birth to a baby girl in her dorm room before throwing her out of her window on fourth floor.
Social issue occurs partially because sex education is poor in China, which means young women could fall pregnant without realising. Because there are no child benefits in China, it would be extremely hard for teenagers to raise their own children once they are born. In addition, children born out of wedlock wouldn’t be able to officially register their identity with the police, a result of China’s strict household registration system. This means children would not be able to receive proper education or social welfare. Lastly, country’s medical welfare only covers citizens’ basic needs. If a baby is born sick, family would sometimes throw him or her away to avoid paying for expensive medical bills.