Namibian Officials Tackle Baby Dumping

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In Namibia, where baby dumping is seen by many as an acceptable way to deal with an unwanted birth, authorities are trying educate the public about other options available to them when a woman gives birth to a baby she doesn’t want.

A survey conducted last year by the country’s Ministry of Youth National Service Sport and Culture, and the Legal Assistance Centre, revealed that too many Namibians still consider baby dumping to be a viable option. The survey also exposed the main reason why people dump babies: Fathers deny paternity, prompting the mother of the child to seek to get rid of it. Other reasons for dumping revealed in the survey were mothers still attending school and mothers not being aware of options such as foster care, adoption and institutional care.

Most of the survey respondents were women age 19 to 30. Namibian women give birth on average when they are 21 and have 1 to 2 children in their lifetimes.

The report encouraged men to take more responsibility for their children, which would bring down the incidents of baby dumping. The report also suggested young Namibians needed more help and information on contraception and negotiating relationships.

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