SINGAPORE: An abandoned baby rescued from a bin in Singapore has aroused widespread sympathy, drawing several offers of adoption, according to authorities and media in the city-state wrestling with low birth rates.
Aside from adoption enquiries received by child protection services, at least six women have written to local daily The New Paper saying they wanted to care for or adopt the baby.
“I am willing to do anything for the baby, ” Shahirah Slamat, 34, said in comments published by the paper.
“I feel so jealous when I see people pregnant. My sister has five children. We want a child so much.”
Rubbish collectors found the crying baby last week in a bloody plastic bag while clearing rubbish from a bin at the foot of a trash chute in a local housing estate.
A local politician said the baby could have been crushed by a compactor if it were not for the cleaners’ intervention.
In the wake of the incident, many have lamented the rare case of abandonment in the wealthy island nation that has the second-fastest ageing population in the world after South Korea and one of the lowest fertility rates globally.
Latest data shows the number of births in Singapore fell to an eight-year low in 2018.
“Oh why (do) people abandon their babies? We are in need of a population growth so don’t abandon the babies.
“I’m more than happy to adopt one if the conditions are right, ” social media user Leong Lim said in a Facebook post.
Police said investigations into the incident were ongoing.
While the child’s birth parents, who have not been named by authorities, were mostly criticised on social media, some said more understanding was needed considering the stigma of single mothers.
“We should step up efforts to support them and reduce stigma rather than judge these women and young girls who may be not far from being children themselves, ” said another Facebook user named Abirame Subramanian. — Reuters
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