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Mother discovers her "dead" newborn on TV

A Mongolian baby born prematurely in Russia following a road accident has become tangled in red tape. Five-week-old Rodina has been stuck in a Russian hospital since he was born.

The baby boy was named after the village he was born in. “Rodina” means “homeland” in Russian, but the story of his birth leaves it open as to which country he will end up calling home.

Rodina's parents were traveling from their native Mongolia to Kazakhstan when, on Russian territory, their car crashed. Pregnant Sulushash Khalkhaman went into labor and gave birth prematurely in a local hospital. The boy was born healthy and there were no complications – until it was time to continue their journey.

Authorities of Kazakhstan’s Abai region say the family was not allowed to cross the border.

“The family took the boy and took off for Kazakhstan, but on the border they were stopped and sent back because there was no entry for the baby on his mother's visa,” Kazakh official Turar Altynbekov.

So Rodina's mother decided to leave the boy back at the hospital while she went to get him a visa.

“She was crying so much, and all of us here at the hospital had tears in our eyes, too. We felt very sorry for both of them,” says pediatrician Irina Burkatskaya.

Local residents started collecting money to buy him food and clothes. But after several weeks, there was still no mother, no papers and no home for the little boy.

Migration authorities started looking for his family but only found a distant relative. As it turned out, the man had cruelly lied both to authorities and to the mother.

“He told us the family had no money to come pick up the baby and when we said that we could help, he still said no. He told us we should give the boy to an orphanage. To the mother he said the child had died,” said Yulia Tregubova, Russian migration official from the Altai region.

It was only after the devastated mother saw a report on TV that she discovered her boy was alive and well.

“I was told the child died and I believed it. I cried so much, what a tragedy it was. If I had known that he was still alive, I would have come for him a long time ago,” says Sulushash.

The Russian and Mongol authorities are working together to fast track the little boy’s visa application and Sulushash will be reunited with her son soon.