People are lining up in hope of adopting a baby boy ever since news of him being left by his mother on the doorsteps of a villager in Kota Belud, about 70km from Kota Kinabalu, broke on social media yesterday.
Yusuf, about four days old, was accompanied by a heart-wrenching note written by his mother when found early last Sunday.
The note pleaded to someone known only as Sumarti to give her son a better life as she was unable to do so.
Sumarti is a 33-year-old unmarried woman.
In the letter, the mother, who did not identify herself, wrote that Yusuf was born on June 29 but had yet to feed on a single drop of milk as she was unable to breastfeed him.
She said she could not provide what’s important for the child – diapers, milk powder and vaccination shots – and begged for the letter’s recipient to do so instead.
The woman also conceded that she had failed as a mother and, as such, it was better for someone else to care for and love her child.
“Please take care of Yusuf as your own child…I sincerely surrender Yusuf to your family. I beg of you, please let Yusuf stay with you…I want someone to love Yusuf,” she wrote towards the end.
Photos of Yusuf and the letter were shared on Facebook and garnered hundreds of comments as well as over 2,500 shares. Many had wanted to take in the baby as their own.
Kota Belud Welfare Department child protection officer Salbiah Jemon said she had received a barrage of calls from people inquiring if they could adopt Yusuf.
She said, however, that this was not possible at the moment as police were still investigating the case, adding that there were also legal issues involved.
“We cannot put him up for adoption yet because police are still tracing baby Yusuf’s birth mother. We are also waiting for his relatives to come forward.
“Yusuf is now under observation in the hospital pending further investigation by the police. He is on antibiotics but other than that, he is fine,” she told to FMT.
Kota Belud police chief Mohd Zaidi Abdullah said police had yet to gather new leads on the case, adding none of the baby’s next of kin had come forward so far.
“Anyone with information on the baby’s birth mother or father, or even his relatives, are welcomed to help us with the probe,” he said.