PETALING JAYA: There’s hope for abandoned babies with the organisation that launched the “baby hatch” initiative five years ago working harder to get children out of orphanages and into loving homes.
The OrphanCARE Foundation, which has baby hatch centres in Johor Baru and Kota Baru advocates that every child needs a family.
While an average of three babies are received at the hatches each month, the foundation is struggling to arrange for their adoption.
“We believe that children should not be in institutions but be with families but there are several factors, mainly legal issues,” said its chairman Tan Sri Faizah Mohd Tahir.
Speaking to reporters at the OrphanCARE’s Adoptive Parents and Children tea party here, she said families had been found for 12 orphans aged between three and 12 years old.
She cited cases in which relatives relied on institutions to care for the children but refused to release them for adoption or to be given away under foster care.
Faizah estimated that there could be about 50,000 orphans in the country.
“Studies carried out by Unicef and others have shown that institutional care, especially in early life, is detrimental to all areas of child development.
“Once they reach 18 years old, they have to leave the orphanage.
“By then they don’t know how to look after themselves for they have had little or no social support,” she added.
She said the foundation would hold more awareness programmes and find solutions and effective approaches to the problem.
She said OrphanCARE regarded orphanages as ‘transit points’ before children are placed with families.