Citizens call for probe into abandoned baby

National, Normal


CONCERNED citizens are calling for a full investigation by relevant authorities to identify the mother of the baby that was allegedly left to die on the outskirts of Port Moresby.
Following the front page report by The National yesterday that a baby was abandoned by his mother, mixed reactions were received, some sympathetic, others critical.
The woman who found the infant in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, is adamant that she will adopt the child but said anyone who wants him would have to fork out K20,000.
A senior Government official strongly opposed the idea of selling the baby, and said it must be taken into custody by a welfare officer, as stipulated by the Child Welfare Act.
He also urged an investigation into the “alleged saviour” as she might be part of a conspiracy to earn some quick money.
“A baby is not an item that can be sold cheaply to make money.
“Child welfare officers must take custody and find a proper home using legal adoption procedures,” the official said.
“This must be undertaken immediately because we do not know if the woman claiming to have found the child is not part of a conspiracy to make money from the child,” he added.
Police officers at the Gordon police station said the woman who found the baby had reported the matter but they could not do anything until the mother was identified.
Section 36 (1) of the Child Welfare Act 1961, states that a “welfare officer, commissioned officer of the police force or person authorised in writing by the Minister to act under this subsection may, without warrant, take into custody a child appearing or suspected by him to be a destitute, neglected, incorrigible or uncontrollable child”.
One reader said: “It is heartbreaking for an innocent child to be neglected, what a sick world we live in.
“So easy to make yet so hard to care for and take responsibility for,” she added.
Another said: “Just by reading the story that an innocent child was left to die makes me think that Papua New Guinea is becoming a sick society.”
In contrast, another reader said the situation must be weighed equally and the mother must not be condemned at this early stage because there might have been various contributing factors that forced her to abandon her baby.
“No, PNG is not a sick nation. It is a desperate and impatient nation.
“The people have waited long enough and they are frustrated with themselves and everything because it is not going the way they wish it would,” he said.