SINGAPORE (Reuters) – An abandoned baby rescued from a bin in Singapore has aroused great sympathy, attracting several offers of adoption, according to authorities and the media in the city-state struggle with low birth rates.
FILE PHOTO: Police officers and cleaning staff inspect the contents of a bin in a garbage dump, after a baby was found alive in the trash in a bin in a public housing estate in Singapore on January 7, 2020 Lim Yaohui / The Straits Times through REUTERS
In addition to the adoption consultations received by child protection services, at least six women have written to the local newspaper The New Paper saying they wanted to care for or adopt the baby.
“I am willing to do anything for the baby,” said Shahirah Slamat, 34, in comments published by the newspaper.
“I feel so jealous when I see pregnant people. My sister has five children … We want a child very much. ”
Garbage collectors found the baby crying last week in a bloody plastic bag while cleaning trash from a container at the foot of a garbage dump in a local urbanization.
A local politician said the baby could have been crushed by a compactor had it not been for the intervention of the cleaners.
Following the incident, many have lamented the rare case of abandonment in the rich island nation that has the second fastest aging population in the world after South Korea and one of the lowest fertility rates in the world.
The latest data shows that the number of births in Singapore fell to a minimum of eight years in 2018.
“Oh, why do people abandon their babies? We need population growth, so don’t abandon babies and I’m more than happy to adopt one if the conditions are right, “said social media user Leong Lim in a Facebook post.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said Wednesday in response to Reuters questions that several people had asked about the adoption of the baby, which was in stable condition. Police said investigations into the incident were ongoing.
While the child’s biological parents, who have not been named by the authorities, were mostly criticized on social media, some said more understanding was needed considering the stigma surrounding single mothers.
“We should intensify efforts to support them and reduce stigma instead of judging these women and girls who are not far from being themselves,” said another Facebook user, Abirame Subramanian.
The abandonment of babies is rare in the city-state, which has a population of approximately 5.7 million. There were such 17 cases between 2009 and 2019, according to MSF.
Reports of Aradhana Aravindan; Edition by Simon Cameron-Moore