Children, abandoned by their parents, are yet another painful feature that characterises Bangladesh -- the world's poorest nation.
Children, abandoned by their parents, are yet another painful feature that characterises Bangladesh -- the world's poorest nation. Most of the children are abandoned through economic reasons. Their parents simply cannot afford to feed them.
SYNOPSIS: Many of the abandoned children eventually find their way to child adoption centres. There are 42 such centres throughout Bangladesh, supported largely by foreign aid. Many of the children are found abandoned in the streets and are brought to the centre by police, social workers or the military. Other babies are left by their parents in the certain knowledge that their children will be cared for better by the adoption centres. Although financed from abroad, the adoption centres are strictly supervised by the Bangladesh government.
The first child adoption centre was set up in the aftermath of the Pakistan civil war which ended with the creation of Bangladesh as an independent country. At that time, there were about four hundred babies to be cared for. Since then, the number of centres has grown to 42 and the children enjoy regular medical attention, good food and the care of a professional staff.
The standard of care is almost luxurious compared with the life many would face in the camps set up by impoverished squatters in the towns and cities.
Most of the children are adopted abroad, but many are taken by Bangladesh parents who are childless. Since Bangladesh came into being, some seven thousand babies have gone to new parents in fifty-six countries. The largest number are adopted either in Europe or the United States.
Most of the new parents are found by child adoption agencies in various countries. A fee of sixty-seven pounds starling is charged for each child released for adoption. The organisers of the centre say this amount goes towards the maintenance of the babies before adoption can be arranged. They explain that the foreign assistance they receive is not enough to cover the entire cost.