THERE are several reports of baby dumping, with babies found tragically buried, dumped in dumpsites or wrapped in plastic bags and even thrown into rivers or drains. According to our culture, baby dumping is a frightening reality, regarding to what they call an illegitimate child below the age of 12 years as a problem to be thrown away.
By Pardon Makunike,Our Reader
Many young women are not ready to be mothers, so they get rid of the unplanned birth out of fear or ignorance. Also men’s irresponsibility contributes to this social problem. I would want to say thank you to Parirenyatwa Hospital for temporarily caring for a dumped baby before the Department of Social Welfare finds the infant a new home. Baby dumping is a crime.
Baby dumping is also a social crisis. Many women with unplanned babies are pressured by the status and future of the child.
Some may feel that they are not ready or traditionally young women may fear rejection by their parents and society if they are found to have had a baby outside of marriage. These traditions will absolutely increase the cases of baby dumping in addition to the fear that she will be unable to look after the child alone. In conjunction, prostitution is also a cause of baby dumping. Sex workers, who must care for and breastfeed an infant, will not be able to continue their work to support themselves. Some women are not aware of foster care and adoption, and because of lack of knowledge they commit such unethical deeds. Ignorance also leads to some HIV-positive mothers thinking that their newly-born babies are also infected and will die, hence soon they dump their babies.
When a student has a baby, she might abandon the child to ensure that she can continue her studies. The government should introduce ways to overcome baby dumping rather than just punishing the mother.