Abandoned babies in Singapore

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AN AVERAGE of three babies were abandoned alive each year, from 2005 to 2009. This number has not risen.

An average of three babies were abandoned alive each year, from 2005 to 2009. The number has not risen.

Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Vivian Balakrishnan, revealed the figure in his written response to a question from Nominated MP Laurence Wee.

He said there is a network of support services for expectant mothers in Singapore, and a 24-hour toll-free MUM-TO-BE helpline, manned by social workers to counsel distressed mothers.

Last year some one thousand calls were made to the helpline.

On whether the Government will consider developing a baby hatch or baby drop similar to the one in Malaysia, Dr Balakrishnan said the experiences of countries such as the US and Japan have not shown they're effective.

Cases of babies abandoned in unsafe places are still reported despite such baby drops, he said.

Dr Balakrishnan said efforts at raising awareness on the avenues of help, reaching out to those at-risk and providing responsive services to those in need must continue.

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