A man in central China has been jailed for 2½ years for abandoning his newborn son, his second child, because he thought he would be too much of a financial burden.
Kang Jinjian, 46, left his 15-day-old son beside a road in Changsha, Hunan province, in October 2017 after his former wife gave birth to the child despite his strong opposition, the Xiaoxiang Morning Post reported on Thursday, quoting a court hearing.
Despite a search by the family and the authorities, the boy had not been found by last month, when the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court delivered the verdict.
While reports about baby girls being abandoned by families wanting a male heir frequently made headlines in the one-child era, Kang’s story highlights concerns raised since the government eased its “family planning” policy.
Beijing started encouraging couples to have two children in 2015 amid a declining birth rate and a quickly ageing population.
Kang had got on well with his ex-wife, identified in the verdict only by her surname Jiang, until 2017, when she fell pregnant and insisted on keeping the baby.
The couple, both teachers at a vocational school in Changsha, already had an 11-year-old daughter, and Kang told the court he did not want another child who would put a further strain on the family’s finances.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of raising him. I didn’t want to spend a penny on this child,” he was quoted as saying.
Kang confessed that he planned to abandon the boy after he was born in September 2017. Despite never having taken care of the baby, he volunteered to take the child to a hospital with his mother-in-law for a check-up 15 days after his birth.
He took the baby away when the grandmother was lining up to pay at the hospital, and then drove him to a city suburb and put him beside a roadside flower bed.
He went home and told Jiang what he had done and was persuaded to turn himself in to police later that day.
Police launched a search for the baby but failed to find him.
Jiang divorced Kang 20 days after he abandoned their son.
According to the Changsha court’s verdict published on China Judgments Online, the official website for court rulings, Kang was sentenced by a district court to three years in jail in October and appealed against the decision to the intermediate court, which reduced the jail term by six months.
The court made the decision after both Jiang, who said she had forgiven him, and his employer filed requests for leniency, it said.
More from South China Morning Post:
- About one million Chinese couples ask to have second child after easing of one-child policy
- Ageing Shanghai urges couples to have a second child
- Chinese parents face obstacle to having a second child: their first