A woman gave birth to a child in “public view” in San Francisco on Thursday, according to the fire department. "The public view is an area viewable by the public like a sidewalk,” a spokesperson said in a statement Sunday.
Both the mother and infant were taken to a local hospital in stable condition, the spokesperson said.
The department declined to confirm the location or time or the incident, or provide further details, citing privacy laws.
Such incidents are rare but not unheard of in San Francisco. In 2007, a woman gave birth to a baby boy on a San Francisco sidewalk and then left the child. Last year, a stillborn baby was found in a port-a-potty of a city-sanctioned homeless encampment. More than a dozen children are born to parents living on the city’s streets each year, an expert told The Standard in the wake of that incident.
A video was circulating Sunday on social media that purported to show a woman giving birth on a San Francisco sidewalk. The fire department declined to confirm if the video was the same incident it responded to Thursday. The Standard has not been able to verify the authenticity of the video itself.
The video shows a crying baby lying on a city sidewalk, covered by a piece of fabric. A woman with her pants partially pulled down lies next to the infant. A man holding a cell phone and wearing a baseball cap is kneeling down, looking closely at the child.
“Just relax, the ambulance will get here,” the man says in the video.
Other bystanders can also be seen in the 40-second recording, which ends with the woman attempting to cradle the infant.
Noah Baustin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org