Baby abandonment

People are usually quick to demonize the mother in these situations. It’s interesting (and sad) to me.

There’s a very long history of baby abandonment in human history. Pre-civilization, people would abandon babies in the wild sometimes if they just didn’t like how they looked, or if the baby was born at an inconvenient time. Okay, we live in civilization now. But I think there’s something deep rooted in a person’s psychology that makes them abandon a baby. They must be terrified of the social ramifications. And I don’t mean terrified like “I’m terrified of getting bad grades”, I mean TERROR that hijacks your brain and makes you do things you never thought you’d be able to do otherwise.

My hypothesis: psychologically, in the mother’s brain, the mother must feel like she would be ostracized (literally cast out and left to die) if the baby was introduced. Just think of all the silly little fears we all have– fear of approaching a stranger, fear of getting something wrong. Now multiply that 1000x.

It must be a deep, crippling fear that overrides everything else. The fear must be so terrible that it hijacks the prefrontal cortex somehow. That’s why they don’t think about adoption. Something in the mother’s neurobiology rejects the baby and wants it destroyed.

It’s easy to demonize them. It’s harder to recognize that they’re actually human too. And if we want to save these babies, we have to talk about sex and pregnancy more openly, with less judgement.

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