An alive and relatively unharmed newborn was recently found wedged in a toilet in Beijing, China.
Nearby residents heard cries coming from a public restroom and notified police who then discovered the baby girl shoved head-first into the toilet.
"Her head was upside down and her body was falling into the drain. We could only vaguely see her feet from the side," Qian Feng, the local police chief reported.
The newborn was so far wedged into the toilet pipe that initially police wanted to dismantle the toilet entirely to get her out, but decided against this as it would be too time consuming. Instead, they decided to risk pulling the baby out the way she had been shoved in, according to CNN.
The baby is reported as being in stable condition. However, this discovery is not an isolated one.
In an interview with CNN, Wang Zhenyao, co-founder of China's child welfare policy and a retired Ministry of Civil Affairs official stated that China has only 10,000 social workers handling 100,000 abandoned children, a ratio of one social worker to ten orphans. Wang added that in more developed nations, the ratio of social workers to orphans is two to one.
Other recent cases of Chinese babies being abandoned include an account of a newborn boy who was buried in a cardboard box in a shallow grave. According to another CNN article, the baby was discovered by a woman who was picking herbs nearby and heard a wail.
The baby was taken to a hospital to treat a high fever and multiple bruises and scratches.
Although the female newborn found in the toilet was free of physical disabilities or medical conditions, the reason for many newborn abandonment cases in China are due to disabilities and medical conditions such as cleft palate, clubfoot, cerebral palsy, congenital heart disease, and Down syndrome.
While the numbers of children who are abandoned in China is large and seemingly growing, the Chinese government has opened dozens of baby hatches which serve as alternatives for parents who cannot care for their children.
However, there are still many more babies than there are facilities to take care of them. One baby hatch in China's Shandong province reported last year that it had received 106 children with disabilities or medical conditions in the first 11 days it was open. Another baby hatch had to shut down two months after opening its doors because it was inundated with infants.
Publication date: August 4, 2015