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Dilemma Of Pregnant Unwed Women

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By Rozainah Abdul Rahim

KUALA LUMPUR: “I love the baby and do not have the heart to abort it,” said Lisa (not her real name), who is now 15 weeks pregnant with a child out of wedlock.
Realising the problems she would face to raise the child as an unwed woman, Lisa is now looking for a family to adopt the baby through a Facebook page “Info Ibu Hamil”.

Although there are places, like baby-hatch, provided by non-governmental organisations to care for children born out of wedlock, Lisa wants to find a family for her child.

“I want my baby to be with a family who can take care and raise the baby like their own because I can’t afford to do so on my own,” she told Bernama when contacted.

Lisa said the response was encouraging with people from various background expressing their willingness to adopt her to-be-born baby.

Declining to reveal the identity of the baby’s father, Lisa had uploaded information on her pregnancy on the Facebook page, that she is not married and asking those looking to adopt a baby to leave their telephone numbers for her to contact.

Her posting attracted the attention of netizens and it became viral on the social media and shared by other Facebook users.

Meanwhile, Social Welfare Department director of children’s division, Arfan Sulaiman said a baby’s birth had to be registered first before the adoption process could be carried out.

“After the baby’s birth certificate is ready, the biological mother and the baby’s new guardian will have to go to a Commissioner of Oath for the adoption process, where if the baby’s biological mother is below the age of 18, she will
have to be accompanied by her mother, who is the baby’s grandmother.

“If the baby’s biological mother is married, then the baby’s father will also have to be present,” he added.

After that, he said the baby’s new guardian would be required to notify the Social Welfare Department on the adoption, adding that child adoption is bound by the Adoption Act or the Registration of Adoptions Act.

Orphancare Foundation communication director Anis Nor Tajul Arus said unwed mothers intending to leave their child at the Orphancare would have to go through certain procedures.

“We don’t simply accept the babies. First, we provide counselling and advice to the mothers and then give them the option whether to give their babies for adoption or to let their families know about their pregnancy.

“However, if the women do not want their families to know, we don’t force them,” he added.

Anis Nor said babies left at the baby hatch would be given to couples who were registered for the adoption process carried out by the foundation.

“These couples fulfilled the stipulated requirements and their data and background have been checked.

“We also conduct interviews with couples who want to adopt babies and they are also required to attend a 10-hour course organised by Orphancare,” she added.

Anis Nor said unwed mothers who do not want to send their babies to the baby-hatch should not take the risk by giving away their babies to couples whose background they did not know.

There are currently three baby hatches operated by Orphancare, in Petaling Jaya, Sungai Petani and Johor,

The others are operated by KPJ Healthcare Berhad (KPJ) at its KPJ Tawakkal Jalan Pahang, Damansara, Ipoh, Johor, Seremban and Penang, KPJ Perdana in Kota Baharu, Kelantan, and in Kuantan, Pahang.– BERNAMA

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