Newborn Dumped in Church Toilet in Philippines Shows Serious Child-Neglect Problem

June 10, 2019 Updated: June 10, 2019

Carrying a baby inside the body for nine months is not an easy feat, and mothers wouldn’t want to be separated from their babies. But there are times when newborns are abandoned in toilets, garbage bins, or gardens, like this baby in the Philippines.

A newborn baby girl was discovered in a cubicle by two girls. The baby was found lying with a diaper on May 29, 2017, in Miag-ao church in Iloilo, Philippines.

A church staff member named Rogelio Napawid told ABS-CBN News that two girls informed him upon the discovery. Staff at the church quickly contacted the police and a clinic. They also sought help from the social welfare and development office. The office would determine if the baby was a foundling before placing her for adoption.

The baby was sent for a medical examination to check for infections. Weighing only 2 kilograms (approx. 4 pounds) the baby was considered quite small, but fortunately, everything was fine said the doctor who checked on the infant. The doctor also deduced that the child was born one or two days ago as there was no umbilical cord, and must have been born at home.

The church’s toilet was available for public use, and the person who abandoned the baby still remains a mystery. According to reports, the clinic’s personnel had volunteered to help in providing for the needs of the baby.

The reason behind abandoning the child is also unknown, but some netizens suggest that it could be due to postpartum depression that can happen to new moms and asked others not to judge the baby’s mom.

Isa ka babayi nga lapsag na kita s cr kng simbahan….kng cn o kw mn nga wlang hiya nga nanay nga nag bilin kng bata mu tni ma himasmasan kw mn s gn himu mu….

Posted by Michael Rey Montalvo Acsay on Sunday, May 28, 2017

Postpartum depression is a phenomenon most new moms experience. According to Mayo Clinic, those who deal with postpartum baby blues after childbirth have mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty in sleeping. Mayo Clinic further clarifies that “Postpartum depression isn’t a character flaw or a weakness. Sometimes it’s simply a complication of giving birth. If you have postpartum depression, prompt treatment can help you manage your symptoms and help you bond with your baby.”

Statistics of Child Abandonment

However, abandonment has become far too common in many parts of the world. Abandonment is a severe form of neglect and can arise due to many reasons, such as broken families, irresponsible fatherhood or motherhood, premature motherhood, birth out of marriage, or the death of one or both parents.

According to data from the United Nations, an estimate of 60 million children and infants are abandoned and live in orphanages or on their own in the world. In the United States, more than 7,000 children are abandoned each year.

Posted by Michael Rey Montalvo Acsay on Sunday, May 28, 2017

Even though child neglect is punishable by law in the Philippines, these cases are on the rise. According to a report by the LA Times,  the Philippines has a serious abandoned children problem. About 1.8 million children in the country, more than 1 percent of its entire population, are “abandoned or neglected,” according to the United Nations’ Children’s Rights & Emergency Relief Organization.

In August 2018, Social Welfare Secretary Virginia Orogo gave a stern warning to parents and guardians that they are liable for neglecting their children as per Philippine Information Agency.

Posted by Michael Rey Montalvo Acsay on Sunday, May 28, 2017

Orgo said: “Some parents have forgotten that child neglect is child abuse, considered as a crime under Republic Act 7610 also known as Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination.  Parents are responsible for taking care and providing for their children’s needs.”