Abandoned Babies, Infants, Newborn or know as Child abandonment has its risks and opportunities and is the practice of relinquishing interests and claims over one’s offspring in an illegal way with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting guardianship over them. Babies, infants, newborn abandonment terminology refers to parents leaving their children younger than 12 months in a public or private place with the intent of terminating their care for the child.

In most cases, child abandonment is classified under a subsection of child abuse statutes and is punishable with a felony. Following felonious charges, one or both guardians give up their parental rights over the child thus severing their relationship with the child. Some countries allow for a reinstatement of parental rights, in which case the parent or parents can have a relationship with the child again. However, it is unlikely that parents can ever regain custody.

Source WiKipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_abandonment


Poverty and homelessness are often causes of child abandonment. People living in countries with poor social welfare systems and who are not financially capable of taking care of a child are more likely to abandon their children because of a lack of resources.

  • In some cases, the parents already have a child or children but are unable to take care of another child at that time.
  • In societies where women are looked down upon for being teenage or single mothers, child abandonment is more common.
  • Children born out of the confines of marriage may be abandoned in a family’s attempt to prevent being shamed by their community.
  • Physical disability, mental illness, and substance abuse problems that parents are facing can also cause them to abandon their children.
  • Children who are born with congenital disorders or other health complications may be abandoned if their parents feel unequipped to provide them with the level of care that their condition requires.
  • In cultures where the sex of the child is of utmost importance, parents are more likely to abandon a baby of the undesired sex. Similarly, people may choose to pursue the often controversial option of sex-selective abortion.
  • Political conditions, such as war and displacement of a family, are also cause for parents to abandon their children.
  • Additionally, a parent being incarcerated or deported can result in the involuntary abandonment of a child, even if the parent(s) did not voluntarily relinquish their parental role.
  • Disownment of a child is a form of abandonment which entails ending contact with, and support for, one’s dependent. Disownment tends to occur later in a child’s life, generally due to a conflict between the parent(s) and the child, but can also occur when children are still young. Reasons include: divorce of parents, discovering the true paternity of a child and a child’s actions bringing shame to a family; most commonly, breaking the law, teenage pregnancy, major religious or ideological differences, and identifying as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender).

Abandoned Babies | Infants | Newborn risk and opportunities

Effects on survivors

  • Possibility of experiencing abuse and neglect in institutionalized care
  • Low self-esteem stemming from feelings of guilt about being at fault for being abandoned
  • Separation anxiety: feelings of anxiety about being separated from parents or caregivers
  • Attachment issues: difficulty becoming emotionally attached to and trusting other people, especially caregivers
  • Abandonment issues, characteristic of abandoned child syndrome, including:
    • social alienation, guilt, anxiety, clinginess, insomnia and nightmares, eating disorders, anger issues, depression, substance abuse, and traumatic re-enactment through romantic relationships
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder of abandonment.
  • Depending upon the severity of their symptoms, children who have developed certain maladjusted tendencies in social interaction may be diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder or disinhibited social engagement disorder.
  • For children who are abandoned in dangerous places, such as dumpsters, doorsteps, and other public areas, exposure to the elements and physical injury are distinct possibilities.

Societal impact and cost

The impact of the abandoned children if not taken care of in the right manner is huge and affect society negatively by adding more homeless, criminals, drug addicts and increase the probability of children-abuse. In 2015, it cost the United States’ government over $9 billion to support 427,910 children who were in foster care.

Child abandonment laws

Child abandonment is illegal in some countries like the United States, but some others consider it to be a felony offence, while others categorize it as a misdemeanour, so punishments vary according to local law, for example in the united states the punishment range from a $2,000 fine to up to five years in prison and a $125,000 penalty. Also, the punishment varies according to abandoned child status if the child died then the punishment can be more intense.


Sex-education and to family planning resources, like contraception, and abortion (in countries that it is legally allowed under physicians supervision) can help prevent people who cannot take care of, or do not want to raise, children from becoming pregnant in the first place.

  • Evidence has shown that, when bans on abortion are lifted, the number of abandoned, abused, and neglected children go down in response. However, access is an issue. In the United States, 87% of all counties, and 97% of all rural counties, do not have any access to abortion services.
  • Governmental assistance can be provided in the form of parental counselling, post-natal services, mental health services, and other community support services for parents who are at a higher risk of abandoning their children because of age, support, physical ability, mental illness, or poverty.

Current situation

Today, Abandonement of Babies, Infants, Newborn is considered to be a serious crime in many jurisdictions because it can be considered wrong in itself due to the direct harm to the child, and because of welfare concerns (in that the child often becomes a burden upon the society and public FISC).

For example, in the U.S. state of Georgia, it is a misdemeanour to will-fully and voluntarily abandon a child, and a felony to abandon one’s child and leave the state.

In 1981, Georgia’s treatment of abandonment as a felony when the defendant leaves the state was upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Adoption is still legal in Arkansas where, in 2015, state legislator Justin Harris made national headlines by re-homing two young adopted children.

Many jurisdictions have exceptions to abandonment laws in the form of safe haven laws, which apply to babies left in designated places such as hospitals.

In the UK abandoning a child under the age of two years is a criminal offence. In 2004 49 babies were abandoned the UK nationwide with slightly more boys than girls being abandoned.

Children abandonment is rife worldwide for example in Malaysia, where between 2005 and 2011, 517 babies were dumped. Of those 517 children, 287 were found dead.

Persons in cultures with poor social welfare systems who are not financially capable of taking care of a child are more likely to abandon them.

Worldwide legislation is needed to protect abandoned children, infants, newborn and keep their right in living and organise adoption process.

Wedad International Foundation (WIF) role

Wedad International Foundation (WIF) a Swiss charity and partners aim to help abandoned infants to enjoy their childhood with a caring and loving family in a nurturing environment, where they have a sense of belonging and to be a responsible citizen.

WIF provides children with immediate alternative temp home till we find the suitable family that comply with all requirement to adopt the child. We don’t stop there; we follow on the wellbeing of the child till the age of 12 years old.

Today, Wedad International Foundation (WIF) and partners operate in 4 countries, and progressing to expanding its aspirations in 12 new countries by 2024. We have a unique methodology in our temp home operation as well as options to breastfeed infant’s prior of adoption.

WIF works internationally according to the legislation in every country through its locally established partners.