Mom Couldn't Pay Bill, So Clinic Kept Her Baby

'Baby Angel' finally home in Gabon after 5 months and public outrage
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2018 6:53 AM CST
   (Getty/praisaeng)

(Newser) – The BBC has a hard-to-fathom story out of Gabon, where a medical clinic refused to allow a newborn to go home for five months because her mother couldn't pay the bill. Yes, the baby was essentially "held as collateral," in the words of Time. The private clinic finally released "Baby Angel" after a public campaign came up with the $3,630 owed—with one of those who chipped in being President Ali Bongo. On Monday, authorities arrested the clinic director on kidnapping charges, but those charges were dropped on Tuesday.

"I'm happy to have my baby back, but I'm sorry that I can't breastfeed her because after five months all my milk has gone," the mother, Sonia Okome, tells the BBC. It isn't clear how much, if at all, she was able to visit her child, who was born prematurely and needed to be on an incubator for more than a month. Prosecutors are looking into the credentials of the doctor and of the facility itself, according to the French-language Gabon Media Time.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
5%
3%
20%
1%
29%
42%