Forum: Step up public education to stop child abandonment

Cleaners and police officers at Block 534 Bedok North Street 3, on Jan 7, 2020.
Cleaners and police officers at Block 534 Bedok North Street 3, on Jan 7, 2020.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

There are various reasons people resort to abandoning their newborn babies, including their inability to provide the emotional and financial stability that the child needs or the stigma attached to single parenthood (Baby found alive in Bedok rubbish chute bin, Jan 8).

In worse scenarios, some could still be pursuing their studies and are ill equipped to be responsible parents.

Whatever the circumstances, it is important for such parents to know that child abandonment is morally wrong and that leaving a newborn baby in a place such as a rubbish bin centre can endanger the child.

Such an irresponsible act is tantamount to leaving the poor infant to die.

Although child abandonment is relatively rare in Singapore, public education on this issue is important, and it should be made known that people in such a predicament can seek help from social institutions.

However difficult the situation may be, there are avenues where issues that could lead one to think of child abandonment can be resolved.

More importantly, a child should be a blessing and not be treated as an unwanted commodity to be discarded according to one's whims and fancies.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2020, with the headline 'Step up public education to stop child abandonment'. Print Edition | Subscribe