Abandoned Baby
The newborn baby was discovered in a drain by cyclists who heard him crying.

The 30-year-old woman accused of the attempted murder of her newborn baby did not appear at a brief hearing at a local court on Friday.

She is likely to stay behind bars for two more weeks and may apply for bail at the next hearing on December 12.

The woman had dumped her newborn in a storm water drain in Quakers Hill in western Sydney. If convicted she could face a 25-year prison sentence.

The week-old baby had been in the drain for about five days, and was dehydrated and malnourished when found by cyclists who heard his cries.

He has been discharged from hospital on Friday morning but some amount of long-term brain damage is not ruled out because of the ordeal the newborn went through, reports ABC News.

Police say the baby was squeezed through the drain's narrow opening and dropped about 2.4 metres. Several people worked together to lift the heavy slab covering the drain to get him out.

The woman who was tracked down by police in door-to-door searches has admitted to the act, knowing it may kill him, police say.

Australian politicians and women activists have called for a long-term solution for the problem.

Call for national laws

Many instances of abandoned babies have plagued the country in the last five years.
Senator Helen Polley from Tasmania has called for national and uniform laws to stop people abandoning their babies in the street.

Popular opinion has been largely against the baby hatches used in some European countries and China where as soon as the babies are deposited, alarms go off and support descends. This should be the last resort, many insist, writes Sydney Morning Herald.

In fact, the hatches have been controversial in China which has around 25 of them in constant use. A hatch in Guangzhou was closed down because it could not cope with the number of babies abandoned.

Hatches are seen as something that could encourage women to abandon their babies rather than take responsibility.