Police in China are on the quest for a man who abandoned a baby on a street during the wee hours of February 14.
CCTV footage released by Chinese media shows the suspect putting the baby outside a hospital before quickly running away on a cold winter day in Jiamusi, one of China’s coldest cities.
The tiny boy was found and saved by a male nurse who took him to the Neonatal Department, according to reports.
Jiamusi is situated in north-east China near Russia. The city’s daily temperature leapt down to below minus 20 degrees Celsius last week.
The man dumped the baby at around 1:30am last Wednesday in front of the No. 1 Hospital Affiliated to Jiamusi University, according to Sina.com.
The boy was dumped just days before the Chinese Lunar New Year, the most important holiday in the country when families reunify.
Upon medical examination, the doctors at the hospital said the boy was healthy.
The medical staff called the police and took the baby to the Jiamusi Children’s Welfare Institution.
The police are looking for the suspect. The web users in China are also helping to spread the information in hope of tracking down the man.
It remains uncertain whether the man is the baby’s father or a relative.
The abandonment of babies is not rare in China, especially among teenage parents.
In April last year, a 15-year-old mother in Shenzhen was caught throwing out her new-born daughter alive with rubbish.
In November, a 19-year-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 the fourth floor.
The social issue occurs partly 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’re born.
In addition, children born out of wedlock would not be able to officially register their identity with the police – a result of China’s strict household registration system. This means the children wouldn’t be able to receive proper education or social welfare.
Finally, the country’s medical welfare only covers the citizens’ basic needs. If a baby is born sick, the family would sometimes throw him or her away to avoid paying for expensive medical bills.