Abandoned baby leads to political call for action

After baby almost froze to death, politician calls for a baby depositary system employed in other countries for mothers who feel that they are incapable of taking care of their children

The abandoned newborn baby who was discovered yesterday afternoon in Valby would have frozen to death without the quick thinking from a passerby.

The newborn was found by a man who was coincidentally passing by with his own baby carriage. His quick reactions quite likely saved the little girl, whose body temperature had dropped significantly. The man immediately called for an ambulance before taking the baby into a heated car to get it out of the five-degree blustery weather.

“We were standing there completely shocked and down in the bag I can see a little arm sticking up, completely pink from the cold,” Nadine Nielsen, a journalist who happened to be passing by told her employers, metroXpress newspaper. “The baby made a little sound, which was comforting because then we knew she was alive.”

When the baby arrived at hospital, she had a temperature that had fallen down to 27 degrees Celsius but the condition of the 3,500-gramme girl is now considered stable.

Authorities have not been able to establish the identity of the mother as of yet, but one psychologist suggested that the woman may have panicked after giving birth.

“One guess could be that the birth may have triggered a panic reaction and that it all could have seemed too immense a task for the woman,” Kuno Sørensen, a psychologist from aid organisation Red Barnet, told metroXpress. “Fortunately, these cases are very rare in Denmark and there are usually years between each case. Something unique must have happened for her to react this way.”

MP Özlem Cekic (Socialistisk Folkeparti) contended that there should be alternatives available to mothers who are unable to deal with their child after giving birth, such as baby depositary.

“We need to see what other countries are doing. Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Russia and Hungary use the baby depositary,” Cekic told Ritzau news service.

The police want to hear from anyone who knows anything about the worn, purple Dunlop sports bag in which the baby was found. The bag measures 30 X 40 centimetres. Aside from the baby, the bag also contained two towels – a black one with the initials IG and a brown beach towel.

“We hope to find the mother, but these cases have proven to be very difficult in the past, so we hope to get some help from anyone who may have seen something or may know a woman who has given birth or soon should be,” Henrik Erik Raben, a police commissioner from Copenhagen Police, told metroXpress.

Raben said that the forensics department was analysing evidence garnered from the scene. Anyone with information pertaining to the case can call the police at 114.

Factfile | Previous Cases

The baby found yesterday was the tenth such incident in the last ten years.

2011: A woman finds a newborn baby in a plastic bag in Maribo in south Zealand. The little boy survives.

2011: A newborn baby is found dead in Søndersø Lake near Viborg in Jutland.

2009: Some boys find a newborn baby in some bushes by Hee School in Ringkøbing in west Jutland. The baby survives.

2008: The dead body of a newborn child is found in a plastic bag in a forest near Horsens in Jutland.

2007: The lower part of a newborn’s body is found in a gravel pit in Storvorde, just south of Aalborg, Jutland.

2007: The body of a newborn baby is found in a plastic bag in a stream in Odense, Funen.

2006: Newborn boy found abandoned in a summer house residence area in Liseleje in northern Zealand. The baby survives. 

2004: A two-three day old baby is found alive and well in a bush in Odense.

2004: A newborn baby is found dead behind a hedge in Vanløse, Copenhagen.