Baby Abandonment. Essay

Baby Abandonment. Essay

BABY ABANDONMENT Child abandonment is the practice of relinquishing interests and claims over one’s offspring with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting it. Causes include many social and cultural factors as well as mental illness. An abandoned child is called a foundling as opposed to a runaway or an orphan. Poverty is often a root cause of child abandonment.

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Persons in cultures with poor social welfare systems who are not financially capable of taking care of a child are more likely to abandon him/her. Political conditions, such as difficulty in adoption proceedings, may also contribute to child abandonment, as can the lack of institutions, such as orphanages, to take in children whom their parents cannot support. Societies with strong social structures and liberal adoption laws tend to have lower rates of child abandonment.

Young girls are leaving the shelter, protection and guidance of their parents in the rural areas in large numbers to study or to work and the companionship that some of them establish with their male colleagues may go beyond the bounds of what their parents would call proper. Unfortunately, when the inevitable happens, the fear of discovery and shame and not knowing what to do cause them to abandon or dump their babies.

Today, abandonment of a child is considered to be a serious crime in many jurisdictions because it can be considered as wrong in itself due to the direct harm to the child, and because of welfare concerns in that the child often becomes a burden upon the public fiscal. Many jurisdictions have exceptions in the form of safe haven laws, which apply to babies left in designated places such as hospitals. For example, Selangor have registered the highest number of abandoned baby cases in the country since 2005, compared with other states, heard from the Dewan Rakyat.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said according to statistics from the police, 105 abandoned baby cases were recorded in Selangor while the Welfare Department has recorded 407 abandoned baby cases recorded over the past five years,” said Shahrizat when answering a question by Datuk Ismail Abdul Muttalib (BN-Maran) who wanted to know the number of abandoned babies cases from 2005 to 2010, according to states and the action by the government to curb such cases.

Apart from Selangor, 83 abandoned baby cases were registered in Johor, Sabah (65), Sarawak (34), Negeri Sembilan (24), Penang (22), Perak (19), Pahang (17), Kedah (17), Kelantan (10), Terengganu (5), Malacca (3), Kuala Lumpur (2) and Perlis (1). There is no doubt that a solution has to be found to the growing problem of baby dumping. Indeed we have to, even if it is just to avoid being called a nation of baby dumpers.

Surely, we also do not want the developed nation status that we are going to achieve in 10 years to be besmirched by our tendency to drive young unwed mothers to dump their newborns. Therefore, we must establish ourselves as people who are loving and compassionate when it comes to handling the problems that young girls have to face when giving birth to children they conceived out of wedlock. We should realise by now that this problem is to be expected.


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