A 24-year-old woman was detained by police after she attempted to ship her newborn girl to an orphanage wrapped in plastic bags.
The baby survived and the mother is being investigated for child abandonment.
The mother, surname Luo, lives in the city of Fuzhou in southeast China, some 480 miles south of Shanghai.
On Aug. 9, she put her baby in several black plastic bags and handed it over to a courier. She didn’t let him inspect the package contents, local media reported, according to CNN.
The courier took the package and continued on his rounds, but then he noticed the package moved and made sounds. He opened it and, to his shock, he found a baby drenched in sweat inside. The temperatures that day hit a sweltering 98 F.
People gathered around the baby girl and tried to hydrate her by dropping water from a cotton swab on her lips, as shown in a cellphone video circulated online.
The baby was taken to the Jin’an District Hospital and her life was not in danger, the hospital’s official told CNN.
“Police have identified the mother, who said she would take the baby home,” the official said.
Baby girls have often been aborted, abandoned, or even killed in China because of the communist regime’s imposing limits on how many children people can have (the regime imposed the rules in 1979 facing a massive population boom caused by its own mass promotion of having as many children as possible decades before).
In Chinese culture, the son takes care of his elderly parents and the daughter takes care of the parents of her husband. The regime’s social security system only covers about a third of the country’s workforce. Most retirees still rely on the filial piety of their children. Thus, if couples can’t afford penalties for having a second or third baby, they’re strongly incentivized to ensure their first baby is a boy.