29/07/2022 09:20

Legal liability when disposing of a newborn baby in Vietnam

Legal liability when disposing of a newborn baby in Vietnam

Recently, there have been many cases of mothers who have just given birth and then abandoned their children. So, for mothers who have the behavior of abandoning their newborn babies, how will they be responsible?

Specifically, at the Judgment 11/2019/HS-ST dated April 22, 2019 on the crime of abandoning a newborn child, which:

“Around 6.30 p.m, on October 7, 2018, Nguyen Dinh C and Ngo Van D, both living in village T, commune C, district L, Quang Binh province, discovered in the area of acacia melaleuca forest in the same village with the body of an infant with the placenta and umbilical cord intact in a state of death and beginning to decompose.

The investigation process has determined: At about 21.00 on October 5, 2018, Hoang Thi T (about 9 months pregnant) was at home with her husband, Hoang Thanh L, in T village, C commune, L district, Quang Binh province, felt a stomach ache, so T went to the acacia forest about 200m away from home to go to the toilet. Right there, T gave birth to a baby boy with the umbilical cord and placenta. After giving birth, T fainted for a while until he regained consciousness and felt the back of the baby's head was soft, so he panicked and left the baby there and went home. After giving birth and disposing of the child, T did not inform her husband or family. On October 10, 2018, when she heard that the Investigation Agency was investigating and clarifying the case, T texted her husband to inform him of the incident."

The court sentenced defendant Hoang Thi T to "abandoning a newborn child" with a penalty of 9 months in prison but suspended the sentence.

The crime of killing or abandoning a newborn baby is an act of a mother due to the heavy influence of outdated ideology or in special objective circumstances that deprives her of her life of giving birth to a child within 07 days of age or discarding the child within 07 days of age, resulting in the death of the child.

Any act of discarding an infant is a violation of the law and must be punished by Vietnamese law.

Mothers who ruthlessly abandon their children will be administratively sanctioned according to Article 22 of Decree 144/2013/ND-CP providing for sanctioning of administrative violations on protection and social relief and child protection and care. 

Article 22. Violations against regulations on child care and rearing

1. A fine of between VND 10,000,000 and 15,000,000 shall be imposed for one of the following acts:

a) Giving up or failing to care for and nurture a child after birth;

b) Parents or guardians fail to fulfill their nurturing obligations, cut off emotional and material ties with children, except for cases where children are adopted or forced to isolate children under the law;

c) Father, mother; guardians intentionally abandon children in public places, neglect or force children not to live with their families, abandon children to live on their own, do not pay attention to care, nurture and educate children so that children I am in a special situation.

2. Remedial measures:

Forcible performance of the obligation to care for and raise children according to the provisions of law for parents and guardians who commit violations specified in Clause 1 of this Article.

This behavior will be fined from 10,000,000 VND to 15,000,000 VND in the following cases: abandonment or failure to nurture and take care of the child after birth; intentionally leaving children in public.

In addition, comparing with the provisions of the criminal law in Clause 2, Article 124 of the 2015 Criminal Code of Vietnam:

Article 124. Murder or abandoning of a newborn child

1. A mother who kills her own newborn child under the impact of obsolete belief or in a special objective circumstance shall face a penalty of 06 - 36 months' imprisonment.

2. A mother who, under the impact of obsolete belief or in a special and objective circumstance, abandons her own newborn child within the first 07 days shall face a penalty of up to 02 years' community sentence or 03 - 24 months' imprisonment if such abandonment results in the death of the child.

Therefore, not only the act of killing a newborn child will be criminally responsible, but also for the act of discarding a newborn baby within 07 days of age that leads to the death of the child, the mother is still subject to the appropriate punishment of the law.

Nguyen Sang

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