Four babies abandoned in Tshwane this month
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Pretoria - The Child Welfare Tshwane has urged stranded mothers to work with the organisation instead of abandoning their babies.
Four babies have been found abandoned in Tshwane this month.
The non-profit child protection organisation said its adoptions unit had received a phone call on Monday morning about the discovery of a newborn baby girl. The child was found wrapped in a blanket on a street in Pretoria West.
According to the organisation, she was taken to hospital and seemed to be doing well “under the circumstances”.
Following the check-up, the baby will remain in the care of the organisation until alternative arrangements can be made.
Nina de Caires, supervisor at the organisation’s adoptions unit, said they had noticed an increase in the number of babies being abandoned in the Tshwane area.
De Caires said June was relatively quiet. However, this month there had been a baby girl from Atteridgeville found in a bucket, while a boy was abandoned at the gates of the Jubilee District Hospital in Temba, Hammanskraal.
The fourth baby, a newborn girl, was found abandoned in Soshanguve and taken to the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital to be assessed.
De Caires said they were dismayed that even though their organisation was available and registered to take in babies that were unwanted or from parents unable to take care of them, many children were still being negligently abandoned.
“We know that there is a stigma that exists in society, especially if you want to give your baby away, but we are there to support and assist the mothers because every child is special.
“Over and above that, simply abandoning a child in such a gross manner as leaving them on the street is a criminal offence and the parents can be prosecuted if found through investigations.”
De Caires, who has been working with the organisation for 14 years, said they believed the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on the number of babies being abandoned.
“A lot of people have been extremely negatively affected financially by this pandemic, especially the poorest of the poor. Everyone is really down and these new mothers were probably scared, but we want them to know that they are not alone in this.”
She said the organisation did not simply take the children in, but through the assistance of social workers, provided free counselling for mothers in need, and even assisted with family adoptions.
In the event that a child was put up for adoption, De Caires said the facility followed the necessary legal requirements.
It even had families who had already been screened and were more than eager to provide unwanted babies with a brighter future.