More than 10 000 babies are abandoned annuallyNovember 9, 2022
A local non-governmental organisation, Baby Savers South Africa (BSSA) says over 10 000 babies are abandoned in the country annually.
What’s worse is that the vast majority of infants are found dead.
Baby Savers South Africa is part of a national coalition of organisations working to put an end to unsafe infant abandonment.
The organisation’s Co-founder, Nadine Grabham explained to SABC News that teenage pregnancies and poverty are some of the main reasons why thousands of babies are abandoned yearly.
“Abandonment is an incredibly complex issue. There can be no excuse for intentionally harming or willfully neglecting any child – but we must realise that there are birth parents in crisis who would rather choose life,” said Grabham.
READ MORE: 145 babies were abandoned at Gauteng public hospitals in 2020, says health MEC
Petition to legalise Baby Savers SA
The Bayakhanya Foundation NPC in solidarity with the organisation has a petition calling for the government to legalise Baby Savers SA so that it can be a safe space for mothers to relinquish their infants.
Grabham said it is of outmost importance for the government to legislate the organisation to empower birth parents to choose safe relinquishment instead of unsafe abandonment.
“Babies are brought to us by the police, those that are found alive. We get babies from hospitals. Some babies are left at our door. We also deal with mums that come to us and say, I don’t have food, clothing or blankets. Poverty is a big reason, another big thing is GBV, rape and teenage pregnancy,” added Grabham.
She encourages mothers who feel unfit to care for their babies to leave them at health care facilities and with organisations like Door of Hope Children’s Missions, instead of resorting to unsafe abandonment.
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