Number of infants abandoned by their Pinoy mothers after birth in the Middle East are on the rise. According to the reports, in Dubai alone, there have been thirty-one Filipino babies born in hospitals that have been abandoned by their parents since 2015. The Philippine Consul General in Dubai, Paul Raymund Cortes said the reported number may actually be higher as there are unreported cases of those who were born in private residences and left by their mothers with friends.
The cases raise concern from officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). They have conducted interviews of the parents of abandoned babies to find out the root cause. The DSWD Undersecretary for Exigent Concerns, Camilo Gudmalin, said that based on the interviews, the reason for abandonment is women who get pregnant but cannot produce a marriage certificate face detention in the Middle East. Most of the parents of the babies are OFWs working in the Middle East with respective husbands and wives in the Philippines.
It is common that the mother will say that she will leave the hospital after giving birth to go to get her marriage certificate and she will never came back to the hospital. Some would simply not admit that they are the parents of the baby because they can get jailed as adultery in punishable by law in Middle Eastern countries. Fortunately, the embassy and the consulate usually arrange for an abandoned baby’s release from hospital care. Gudmalin said that the babies are then repatriated for adoption in the Philippines.
Officials are now asking everyone who come across abandon children to report the matter or convince the foster parent to report the matter to the police so proper arrangements can be made. The children have their rights to have a nationality, have a passport and go to school. The parents might have their own reasons for the abandonment but they are encouraged to surrender to the DSWD to declare the children legally free for adoption so they can have a chance of having a family and having a decent future.