Day-old baby found in shoebox
Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison is urging mothers to explore the options available to them and reach out to the relevant authorities before abandoning their babies.
"For the good of the child, and for the sake of the child, I really encourage persons to have these discussions so that you can get the advice that you need," she advised.
Harrison's plea comes in light of information that a day-old baby girl was found abandoned in a shoebox outside the Chapelton Hospital in Clarendon on Saturday night.
Reports are that the baby was found on the hospital's compound some time around 10 p.m. by a member of staff. The police were alerted, a report was filed, and an investigation was launched into the matter.
At press time last night, the police had not located the mother, but said the child seems to be in good health and is still in the care of the hospital.
They said they do not know whether the child was abandoned by someone who was a patient at the hospital, and added that no notes or identification information was left with the infant.
ANOTHER INFANT ABANDONED
This incident comes just a little more than two months after another day-old baby was abandoned in a KFC bathroom in Old Harbour, St Catherine. The mother had left a handwritten note beside the baby in which she claimed that the newborn was a product of rape, and that she was unable to care for the child.
Though disturbing, these instances come as no surprise to Harrison, who said it has been a long-standing issue in the country.
"It is something that has been with us for quite some time in Jamaica, where mothers who are either frustrated, or going through difficult times, or just panicking and not knowing how to treat with a pregnancy that may have been unwanted, they will abandon the children," she explained.