Garbage Man Rescues Newborn Baby From Dumpster

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 25, 2022   |   3:16PM   |   Washington, DC

An Iranian garbage collector rescued a newborn baby from a dumpster on Monday in Tehran, a tragic reminder that infant abandonment is still a huge problem across the world.

The New York Post reports the baby boy reportedly was in stable condition in a city hospital Tuesday after being pulled out of the dumpster in a plastic bag.

According to the report, a garbage collector in the Nazi Abad area of Tehran discovered the infant when he heard breathing noises coming from a plastic bag amid the trash.

A video of the rescue shows the man lifting the bag onto the sidewalk and slowing ripping it open as a crowd watches. As he opens the bag, the man reveals a newborn covered in blood with his umbilical cord attached. The baby boy can be seen squirming as the man removes the bag from his tiny face.

According to Iran Front Page News, emergency services transported the baby to a local hospital where he was said to be in stable condition on Tuesday.

Tehran police said they are investigating the incident.

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A former Iranian Ministry of Interior official estimated about 1,000 infants and toddlers are abandoned every year in the country, though many believe the number is an under-estimate, according to the New York Post.

Infant abandonment and infanticide remain problems all across the world, in both rich and poor countries. In April, News 24 reports police in South Africa said someone found a newborn baby girl abandoned in a plastic bag on the side of the road. Authorities later said the baby was in good condition at the local hospital.

In another recent case, Nebraska police arrested a woman after witnesses said she gave birth to a baby boy on the sidewalk in freezing temperatures and then abandoned her child. The mother appeared to be mentally ill.

And in January, a newborn baby was found alive in a dumpster in New Mexico after the mother allegedly threw the child into the trash container several hours earlier.

Many countries have laws that allow mothers to safely relinquish their infants to authorities if they are unable to care for the child themselves.

In the U.S., all 50 states have safe haven laws that allow mothers to safely surrender their newborns to authorities, often at a police station or hospital, without repercussions as long as the infant is unharmed. Typically, laws allow the surrender within a certain time limit, such as within 30 days of the baby’s birth. Some states also have baby boxes where women can safely surrender their newborns.

Safe haven laws have saved thousands of babies’ lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Since 1999, when Texas became the first state to implement Safe Haven Laws, an estimated 4,100 infants have been safely surrendered” in the United States.