The Probation and Childcare Department today appealed to mothers who abandon their children due to economic and social reasons to hand over their children to the department for adoption and to refrain from taking their children’s lives or abandoning them as has been a trend in the recent past.
Probation Officer Nirmali Perera said in Sri Lanka adoption had a stigma attached to it and people often chose to hide it from society.
She said people should have a positive view about adoption procedures as it was the best alternative to give a home and a future for the little child.
Ms. Perera said an infant or young child less than 14 years of age whom the parents want to abandon because they were unable to support the child can hand them over to the Provincial Commissioner of the Probation and Childcare Department in their respective provinces.
If infants are found abandoned in a state hospital the hospital will hand over the child to the Provincial Commissioner in the area. The Provincial Commissioner will put the child in the waiting list for adoption. “The parent can meet the Provincial Commissioner and hand over the child. They may have to show evidence to prove that they cannot support the child. However if the parent refuses to support the child then we will undertake the responsibility to ensure the child is protected,” Ms. Perera said. “There have been several incidents in the recent past where parents have allegedly abandoned their children or killed them. Instead of doing so, we ask them to hand over their children to us. The department will provide them a home.”
Ms. Perera said parents took such drastic decision because of poverty, disputes between the parents or because of unmarried girls who feel they cannot support a child. “People choose to take very drastic measures when they are in desperate situations of this nature as they are unaware of the alternatives available for their children,” she said.
In Sri Lanka children below 14 years can be adopted by sending a written request to the Probation and Childcare Department’s Provincial Commissioner requesting for a child to be adopted. Subsequently the applicant’s suitability will be investigated and evaluated. If they fulfil the criteria they will be able to register with the Provincial Commissioner for the adoption of a child. (Olindhi Jayasundere)