A man heard crying one morning on his walk to work on the outskirts of Chelyabinsk, Russia. Perturbed by the sound, he went to find out what it was and discovered a baby girl lying atop a pile of leaves. The newborn still had her umbilical cord attached, and police later determined that she was only about three days old when she was found.
The poor baby girl was covered in ants that were biting at her skin, and some say she was being 'eaten alive.' Police say that she wouldn't have survived much longer if the man hadn't found her when he did, but she's now expected to make a full recovery.
According to official statistics, more than a dozen babies are abandoned in Russia each month, but many believe the actual statistics to be about three times higher, according to an article
published by USA Today back in October of 2012. Baby boxes, places where parents can anonymously drop off unwanted babies without any legal ramifications, are popping up across Russia to try to spread awareness of the widespread abandonment issue while also offering a second chance to those infants who are not wanted. These baby boxes have no cameras and no surveillance around them, just information for the parents to encourage them to rethink their decision and contact numbers for help. Once the baby is securely tucked into the baby box, a nurse is alerted and retrieves the baby immediately.
Sadly, there isn't just an abandonment issue in Russia, there is also a huge problem with mothers murdering their children. According to the same USA Today article, Russian police reported 268 cases of mothers murdering their newborns just in the 2011-2012 year alone. Clearly there is a deeper set of problems here, and while we can assume it stems from poverty and the crippling (and still rising) costs of raising a child, there could be plenty of other factors at play. Whatever the cause, it won't be easy to fix such a deep-rooted and devastating problem, but baby boxes are a great way to start working toward a solution.
Have you heard of the baby box before? Why do you think there's such a huge problem with child abandonment in Russia? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
[WARNING: The following post contains a graphic image that may be disturbing to some]