Giving a child away is ‘a harsh reality’

2016-02-04 06:00
PHOTO: getty images Baby girl (9-12 months) sitting on floor, left by a parent

PHOTO: getty images Baby girl (9-12 months) sitting on floor, left by a parent

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SOME young parents think that giving their child, or children, to child welfare is the solution to their problems.

The family system these days is breaking down and there is a decline in values that used to exist many years ago, it has been reported.

Sagree Naicker of Child Welfare Port Shepstone said they regularly have cases where parents come to them saying they can’t, or won’t, be responsible for their children any longer. The reasons are always similar - a fight with the father­, unemployment and others.

“Many parents have come to our office with the idea that their children, whom they neglected to raise appropriately, are now the ‘responsibility’ of the welfare. Some have said, ‘well if you don’t help us then we will just drop the child at your office.’

“As horrifying as this may sound this is certainly the harsh reality,” said Naicker.

“I will never forget a case when a father, whose child was ‘dumped’ on him by his angry girlfriend, came to our office pleading poverty, and so on, and we were obliged to place the child in temporary safe care. The child sadly waved goodbye as she saw the back of her father­ as he went on his way,” said Naicker.

She said this problem is common in all races, however, predominantly in the black community.

“This we can attribute to the circumstances in which people find themselves in. The other problem is unplanned pregnancies, resulting in unwanted children, and individuals therefore wanting to put their children up for adoption,” she said.

In most cases the children are very young.

“The children we see who face this problem are generally in the age group of between 0 to five. Teenagers also fall in this bracket as they display behavioural problems which the parents­ cannot cope with,” she said.

Naicker quoted Chris Herd in his article about unwanted children.

“Individuals must realise that when they become parents they have responsibilities. They are therefore under obligation to provide for their families’ needs. These needs are spiritual, emotional and physical. Parents should never be so pre-occupied that the needs of the family are neglected. Many fathers tend to leave their God-ordained responsibility to the mothers.”

Naicker advised parents who are in find themselves in situations where they feel their back is against the wall, to call one of the organisations who can assist - Margate Child Welfare (039 312 2015), Give a Child a Family (039 312 7261), CMD (039 682 2655) or Child Welfare Port Shepstone (039 682 0073).

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