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Friday October 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday October 18, 2013 MYT 8:31:04 AM
PETALING JAYA: One of the many difficult decisions that a pregnant teenager has to make is telling others about their predicament. Some, however, choose not to.
One teenager, living with her parents, managed to conceal her pregnancy from them and gave birth at home while her parents were outstation. She then left the child at the baby hatch here, only to return two weeks later for her baby.
“It is strange that the parents did not notice she was pregnant despite living in the same house,” OrphanCare Foundation trustee Noraini Hashim said yesterday.
Another teenage girl, terrified of her parents finding out she was pregnant, also gave birth to her baby at home alone.
“Not only did she deliver the child by herself, she managed to drive herself to a toll plaza on a highway where she asked one of our staff members to meet her and take the baby from her,” she said.
Asked why they had chosen to set up baby hatches in these three states – Selangor, Johor and Kelantan, Noraini said government statistics had shown that these states had among the highest cases of baby dumping.
The premises in Kota Baru, she said, had not been officially opened yet but had already received one baby.
Women’s Aid Organisation executive director Ivy Josiah said by saving three children each month, the baby hatches were proving to be an important way to tackle issues of baby dumping due to unwanted pregnancies.
“It would be good to have more places like these, which give these women an opportunity to give up their babies for adoption without having to deal with prying eyes or being judged or punished.
“Such places should be encouraged and must be made more accessible. However, it is only a short-term solution. The long-term solution will be to tackle the root cause of the problem – unwanted pregnancies– and this can only be done through sex education in schools,” she said.
According to police statistics, 517 babies were dumped between 2005 and January 2011, of which 287 were found dead.
This equals to an average of seven babies dumped each month.
Police said 203 of the cases involved boys and 164 girls while the gender of the other 150 babies could not be ascertained because the bodies were too badly decomposed.
Last year, there were more than 31 cases, including one which involved a child being tossed out of a high-rise apartment window.
Safe place for unwanted babies
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