Children abandoned by parents in hard economic times

The China Post staff

The spill-over effect of a sharp economic slowdown seems to be everywhere.

Over the past months, more and more babies have been deserted by parents who cannot afford bringing them up, the United Evening News reported. A Christian social charity organization said it has taken more than 10 babies, who were born with defects, from their parents during the past six months.

Hsieh Hui-chen, a worker at the organization, noted that the suffering of children has heightened considerably over the past months due to a rapid deterioration in the economy, which makes the world of adults increasingly complicated, leaving their children with a lack of sufficient care.

“Wei Wei,” a 10-month-old baby born blind with heart problems as well as chronic lung problems, was sent to the organization because his family cannot afford his medical expenditures, the evening newspaper said.

Wei Wei’s family depends only on his father, a cab driver. But sometimes his father does not even earn NT$1,000 per day. Wei Wei still has three older brothers and sisters.

Wei Wei’s mother was forced to send him to the charity organization.

The abandoned children’s parents — some unmarried — were either out of work or in economic difficulties, according to the organization.

Another child, named “Ting Ting,” who arrived at the organization three months ago, has a father, a hawker, whose salary has fallen by half in the past six months.

It costs at least NT$50,000-NT$60,000 every month in medical expenses for each baby with physical shortcoming, it added.

But in other cases the story was even more unpleasant.

Some of the abandoned babies’ parents were unmarried and decided to give their children away just because they find it troublesome to take care of their kids, the paper said.

“Lung Lung,” who is three-year-old and was born deaf, was adopted by the organization because his father does not have a proper job while his mother was taken home six months ago by her parents and has never come back to see Lung Lung since then.

Recently a young couple who work as volunteers at the organization offered to adopt Lung Lung but were forced to give up on the idea because the kid’s father asked for a huge amount of cash, according to the paper.