Thursday, April 03, 2008

Serious baby shortage in Singapore

I was made an enquiry at the Social Services today, and discovered that Singapore does not have any more State run orphanages. The lovely lady from social services launched into this most depressing explanation guaranteed to depress the most enthusiastic adoptive parent.

There was just no more use for such services any longer. Only several foster homes. I am beginning to wonder if being a foster parent is more feasible than adoptive parent. Apparently the severe shortage in babies means that there are no unwanted babies any longer. The other point is that the stigma traditionally attached to children born out of wedlock has gradually ebbed away. With more women brave enough to embark on single parenthood, by choice or by circumstances, the orphanages have gradually emptied of healthy children.

What you do have left are kids with severe mental or physical disabilities who live their lives in institutional care. It takes a truly special family to adopt and love them in spite (or perhaps because of) the multitude of problems they bring. I have seen autistic children in the children's hospital where I used to volunteer. Their parents are true heroes, and I really do not think I have it in me to adopt such a child, knowing that I might have to spend time wiping their excrement of the staircase when they get decide to smear it in odd places, or scream like a banshee and hurl themselves into walls in an unworldly kind of tantrum, or never hug nor even acknowledge me.


jeannie said...

really? no more orphanages in Singapore? and there i was thinking about sorting out some of kait's old toys to give away. i remember visiting one in Sembawang/Woodlands years ago with the school, we went to spend time with and sing songs to the kids.

Xavier said...

I was also told there is a premium attached to Singaporean-born children. Another incentive to keep your child at home.

(Now in Singapore)