Jakarta woman fakes finding own newborn baby to avoid shame

File photo of a baby’s feet. Photo: Rainer Majores
File photo of a baby’s feet. Photo: Rainer Majores

A 20-year-old woman in West Jakarta staged a dramatic discovery of a newborn baby, authorities said, only to later own up that the baby was hers.

On Sunday morning, the woman, who is identified by her initial D, gave birth to her child on her own at her home in Palmerah. She reportedly blared loud music to mask her screams during childbirth.

After delivering the baby, D, who lives with her mother, dressed up as if she was going to work.

“D placed the baby on the porch of the house and called her mother,” Palmerah Police Chief Commissioner Supriyanto said yesterday.

Feigning panic, D told her mother that someone had left a baby on their porch. D’s mother then alerted the neighbors, with the police and an ambulance later arriving to take the newborn to hospital.

D left the scene soon after despite police requiring her to remain as a witness. She was found exhausted in nearby Kebon Jeruk soon after and was taken to a community clinic in Palmerah for treatment.

D then confessed that she faked finding the child because she was ashamed she had it out of wedlock and that she has no money to raise it on her own, especially after her boyfriend — the baby’s father — told her that he didn’t want to take responsibility for the child. Police said the boyfriend eventually had a change of heart and has agreed to support D and the baby.

It’s not yet known how D managed to hide her pregnancy from her mother and others close to her for nine months.

Sadly, both she and her baby tested reactive for the coronavirus and will undergo swab tests soon. Should they test positive, authorities say there may be potential for a new COVID-19 cluster to form in her neighborhood as a result of the incident.

While D’s baby thankfully survived, there have been numerous cases in which young women in Indonesia took extreme measures to hide the shame of pregnancy out of wedlock. Last year, a Palembang woman hid her baby in a washing machine, only for the baby to later pass away. In 2017, a woman from East Java stabbed her own baby to death out of shame because she was unmarried.

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