Cry for help

It’s hard to imagine the desperation a young mother faces when she feels unable to raise her child, but even more unimaginable is the phenomenon in some countries of mothers outright abandoning their babies because the adoption process is so fraught with obstacles.

In this video, two Russian YouTube stars who post under the name "Rekamakafao" decided to shine a spotlight on this problem with a rather provocative social experiment. They set up scenarios in central Moscow that made it look as if a young woman was abandoning a crying newborn, making sure that she was noticed by passersby. Would they try to stop the mother or at least intervene in some way?

Although this situation is something very far from familiar in most western countries, scenarios similar to this play out across many parts of the world in some form or another. It's hard to know what the answer to such deep societal problems is but surely education, access to reproductive health services, and a social safety net all have an important role to play.

Hopefully this video will stimulate dialogue in Russia and elsewhere about how to better support parents and children. And perhaps it should also serve as a general warning to governments who are tempted to save money by cutting social programs — they are there for a reason!