Woman left her month-old son in a Hong Kong stairwell when she couldn’t find his father
Court heard mother was feeling helpless and hoped someone capable would find her boy and look after him
A woman left her month-old son in a stairwell nearly 12 years ago when she couldn’t find his father, Tuen Mun Court heard yesterday,
The 34-year-old housewife, who the Post has decided not to name to protect the identity of the boy, did not register her child as required by law after she gave birth at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Yau Ma Tei on October 31, 2004.
She said upon her arrest in March that she did not do so out of helplessness as she could not contact his father, who disappeared a month before she gave birth.
Deputy magistrate Pang Leung-ting was told that she tried looking for the father in Tuen Mun before she gave up – feeling helpless – and decided to leave her child in the stairwell of a residential block, where she thought there would be many passers-by to find the baby. She said she had hoped someone capable would adopt him.
Her counsel Paul Wu said the woman was experiencing difficulties when, aged 22, she made the choice of having the child with her then-boyfriend while also going through a divorce.
Wu said she had visited her boyfriend’s home and waited days by his workplace but was rejected by his family before she was told he had already left his job.
“Out of confusion, she placed the boy at a stairwell hoping that a kind person would adopt him,” Wu said as the woman stood crying behind him. “She regretted it the next day and went back to find him at 7 or 8 in the morning. But he was gone.”
The boy was next seen in the Chinese newspapers, which reported that he had been taken into the care of Social Welfare Department. Thinking her son was being cared for, she stopped looking, Wu said.
The woman is now a mother of two children with her current husband, while her firstborn was under foster care.
Neither the prosecuting nor defending counsel knew why it took almost 12 years to prosecute the case. The woman will be sentenced on September 15 following her guilty plea to one count of endangering a child’s life.