One child abandoned each day in Moldova, says UNICEF
The study, launched today in Chisinau, finds that one third of those abandoned by their parents are less than four days old.
One in five of the women who abandon their babies have never been pregnant before, and 60% are single mothers, according to the study – the first of its kind in
One of the most disturbing patterns is that nine out of ten children under seven-years old that were abandoned in health care facilities and residential institutions are not orphans at all – they have living parents. At the same time, very few of them are “rescued” by adoptive or foster families. Most of them never find a family.
Separation from parents, especially in the first few days of life, undermines the overall development and well-being of the young child, with serious consequences for their physical and emotional development.
“The findings of the study are cause for grave concern”, stated Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in
Strategies are needed to prevent child abandonment and provide services for vulnerable women so that children stay with their families. According to UNICEF, children should not be deprived of their first line of protection – their parents – or their right to grow up in a family environment.
The study draws up recommendations to prevent abandonment and reduce the number of young children entering the residential care system, by creating a truly protective environment for them.
“The act of abandonment is usually the result of a long series of events,” said Kirsten Di Martino, UNICEF Child Protection Officer. “The problems facing parents often start long before the mother enters the maternity ward. To avoid the tragedy of abandonment, the social support system needs to have social services and professional social workers in place to identify families at risk and offer them timely and effective support. It is also vital to ensure that young people receive life-skills education, including information on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. They need Youth- friendly Centres where they can come and talk about their problems and get relevant information. We also need to change the attitudes that discriminate against single mothers and illegitimate children and we must encourage more families to become foster and adoptive parents”.
For more information:Violeta Cojocaru, UNICEF Communication Officer, (+373 22) 22 00 34; email: firstname.lastname@example.org