Over 10 000 babies are abandoned in South Africa every year: Baby Savers SA

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Every year, over 10 000 babies are abandoned in South Africa, with the vast majority of them found dead.
This is according to Baby Savers South Africa, a national coalition of organisations working to put an end to unsafe infant abandonment.

Baby Savers South Africa says teenage pregnancies and poverty are some of the main reasons why thousands of babies are abandoned yearly.

The Director at Door of Hope Children’s Mission and the Co-founder of Baby Savers South Africa, Nadine Grabham is encouraging mothers who feel unfit to care for their babies, to leave them at healthcare facilities and with organisations like Door of Hope Children’s Missions instead of resorting to unsafe abandonment.

“Babies are brought to us from the police, those that are found alive. We get babies from hospitals. Some babies are left at our door. We also deal with mums that come to us and say, I don’t have food, clothing or blankets. Poverty is a big reason, another big thing is GBV, rape, and teenage pregnancy.”

‘Unsafe abortions a challenge’

Meanwhile, Grabham says unsafe abortions remain a massive challenge in South Africa where mothers are attempting illegal abortions in their third trimester.

“The babies are placed into our care. We are pro-family preservation. We work towards unification wherever possible, where it’s not possible; the babies are with us until they are at an adoptable age. We need to recognise that baby abandonment is a big issue in SA. We need to focus on poverty, teenage pregnancy, and GBV. A lot of babies are abandoned due to failed abortions. Born alive, only to die from unsafe abandonment.”