This baby survived after being buried in a shallow grave for three days. But why did this South African mother bury her newborn there in the first place? She offers a chilling reason.
When workers in a timber factory in South Africa heard a baby crying outside in April 2017, they went out looking for it. Finally, they found a baby boy who had been buried alive in a shallow grave. After rescuing the baby from the makeshift grave, they were able to confirm that the baby had been left there to die by his mother three days ago.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) April 21, 2017
The then-25-year-old mother also worked in the timber factory in the town of Paddock, in KwaZulu-Natal Province, eastern South Africa. She confessed to the police that she had buried her baby with sand and timber from the factory. She said she was afraid of her parents being upset with her having a second child.
“This was her second child, the elder one being four years old, and she felt her parents would not approve of another baby,” said Captain Gerald Mfeka, the Daily Mail UK reports.
The poor baby was sent to an intensive care unit in Port Shepstone Regional Hospital. Her mother was also taken to the hospital and later released.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) April 21, 2017
However, this has become far too common across the world—newborn babies are discarded and left to die on rubbish tips and in gardens, or are buried alive.
Abandonment is a severe form of neglect and can arise due to many reasons, such as broken families, irresponsible fatherhood or motherhood, premature motherhood, birth out of marriage, or the death of one or both parents.
According to data from the United Nations, an estimate of 60 million children and infants are abandoned and live in orphanages or on their own in the world. In the United States, more than 7,000 children are abandoned each year.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “Many State legislatures have enacted legislation to address infant abandonment and endangerment in response to a reported increase in the abandonment of infants in unsafe locations, such as public restrooms or trash receptacles.”
The first law started in Texas with the “Baby Moses laws.”
Every state, including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, has safe haven laws. “The focus of these laws is protecting newborns from endangerment by providing parents an alternative to criminal abandonment, and therefore the laws are generally limited to very young children. For example, in approximately 11 States and Puerto Rico, only infants who are 72 hours old or younger may be relinquished to a designated safe haven,” the agency further added.
As per a report by Livestrong, the impact of child abandonment is manifold and can affect the individual in the long term too.
It can impact how the person feels about themself. Once they become a teenager or an adult, the coping mechanisms while dealing with tough situations might be inadequate.
The report also points out that these children tend to deal with severe anxiety. In addition, the child might have difficulty in bonding with a new caregiver or an adopted family even though they might seem very loving and caring.