Woman Arrested After Newborn Baby Found in Trash Bin of Airplane Bathroom

Newborn Baby
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A 20-year-old Madagascan woman has been accused of abandoning her newborn baby in an airplane toilet after allegedly giving birth in midair.

According to the BBC, the incident occurred on New Year’s Day, on an Air Mauritius flight from Madagascar to Mauritius.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was believed to have given birth to the baby boy at some point during the flight. However, the baby was not discovered until after the plane landed at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius, as airport staff were carrying out routine customs checks.

Officials became suspicious after finding bloody toilet paper on the plane during the screening, The times of the straits reported.

After finding the newborn, authorities took the baby to hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, authorities identified the woman they believed to be the child’s mother.

According to the BBC, at first the woman said the child was not hers. A medical assessment, however, confirmed authorities’ suspicions that she had recently given birth.

The woman is under medical observation and, upon her release, is expected to be questioned by the police and charged with child abandonment. She had traveled to Mauritius on a two-year work permit, according to the BBC report.

Both the woman and the baby are said to be in good health despite the ordeal.

While reports of babies being abandoned on planes are rare, there have been reports of similar incidents. In 2010, NBC News reported that a baby boy was found abandoned in an airplane trash bag after his mother gave birth on a flight between the Middle East and the Philippines.

It is generally illegal to abandon a child in this way. In 1989, The Associated Press reported that a woman was sentenced to six months in prison after giving birth in an airplane toilet and leaving the baby in the trash.

In many places, including the United States, there are “Safe Haven” laws to prevent the abandonment of infants in unsafe places, such as “public toilets or garbage cans”.

According to the Children’s Bureau, which works with federal, state, tribal and local agencies to improve the overall health and well-being of children and families in the United States, “infant shelter laws have been enacted to urge mothers in crisis to safely abandon their babies at designated places where babies are protected and receive medical care until a permanent home is found. “

In most cases, the parent is allowed to remain anonymous and is “immune from criminal liability and prosecution for endangerment, abandonment or neglect of the child in exchange for returning the baby to a shelter” .

Although they vary from state to state, common places of refuge include hospitals, fire stations, police stations, and churches.

On Saturday, a Madagascan woman was accused of having given birth during a flight and of having left her newborn baby in the toilet bin. Pictured is a photo of a three month old baby.
Arindam Ghosh / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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