In Malaysia, usually, families are reluctant to accept out of wedlock baby because it is such a shame for them and they also believe to be a disgrace to the families.
But, one thing that these families forget, the babies have done nothing wrong. Why should families act that way to them when the one who brought them to the world is the person whose to blame.
According to The Star online (2018), the nationwide statistics collected by the National Registration Department (JPN) showed that 4,992 illegitimate children were born to young mothers aged 18 and below in 2017. There were also 120 reported cases of baby dumping in the same year and until June 1664 children were born to underage mothers.
Shocking! How can this happen?
The Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia in 2011 recorded in its facilities 18,652 births by girls the age of 10-19, out of whom more than 30% were not married.
Factors that may contribute to this problems are:
• Lack of education and information about reproductive and sexual health.
• Lack of knowledge on ways to prevent pregnancy.
• Adolescent sexual behaviour or curiosity.
• Socio-economic factors (poverty, lack of familial support/guidance).
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said among factors leading to cases of illegitimate children, and baby dumping was incest, child abuse, domestic violence, pre-marital sex and pornography.
22% of sexually active students said their exposure to pornography influenced them,
The question is, can the family accept the baby?
It is so much easier if the babies are born in any western countries because as far as I am concerned, their families will accept them with an open heart because that is their culture.
But not in Malaysia.
How can your parents answer others if they are asking about the dad of the out of wedlock baby?
For me, if I were to have a daughter that is having an illegitimate baby, I will accept the baby because the baby has done nothing wrong. If I were to punish someone for this wrongdoing, I would punish both my daughter and her partner. Let them learn first before accepting them back.
Sometimes, we have to be harsh for them to learn something and do not repeat it!
Remember, the baby is so naive and precious; the baby is a gift from God, do take care of the baby before she/he follow their parents’ steps.
If the family disowned these girls, where to go?
Sekolah Harapan or “School of Hope”, Jasin
Majority of the young girls will feel that their world is falling apart when they find out that they are pregnant out of the wedlock.
They’re so naive and young after all, and they haven’t finished school yet! Besides, there’s also the social stigma.
But does that mean their whole future gone case? Well, there is a place now in Malaysia that gives hope to these teens. It’s Called Sekolah Harapan or School of Hope.
It is the first school for pregnant teens, opened in Sep 2010 in Jasin, Malacca.
Though it’s in Malacca, it’s open to students across the country. Among their first students, were girls from Johor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, and so on. After their delivery and confinement period, the girls return to their regular schools.
Give them a chance to turn over a new leaf.
The chief minister of Malacca state, Mohamad Ali Rustam, who first proposed the school, has said the baby-dumping problem is particularly acute among Malays and has become “a disease of sorts”. He also stated it was important that the girls do not fall behind in their studies, or worse, give up academics altogether.
It’s a sin (to become pregnant out of wedlock), but we won’t emphasize that we want them to improve to become better Muslims.
There’s a lot to be done to combat these issues, and we could start with sex education.
To read more articles about our #SEXEDUCATION series, please stay tuned!
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